BASS LAKE – Two men charged in the robbery and beating of a 77-year-old woman and her disabled adult son in the Bass Lake Annex in November 2017 pleaded “no contest” today in Bass Lake Superior Court.
Ray Coleman, 24, and Alvin McDonald III, 19, both of North Fork, accepted plea deals for their crimes, which took place on Nov. 18, 2017.
The facts of the case as laid out in court today are that the two had been drinking and decided to go to the home in the 36000 block of Cedar Lane at about 7:30 p.m. They had been told that there was a safe inside the house that they planned to rob.
On the ruse of needing to use the bathroom, the two knocked on the door and gained entry into the residence where 77-year-old Lois Moore lived with her adult son Charles Moore.
Once inside the home, Coleman got into a physical fight with Charles. Hearing the altercation from her bedroom, Lois came into the living room with a gun, which McDonald grabbed from her and used to bash her in the head, rendering her unconscious.
Lois suffered severe injuries and was airlifted to Community Regional Medical Center where she remained in a coma for days.
According to Deputy District Attorney Brooke Bergman, the elderly woman suffered two blood clots in the brain which required major surgery and the removal or part of her skull.
“As a result of this attack, she lost all of her short-term memory, most of her long-term memory, she is on oxygen, and can’t walk without assistance,” Bergman told the judge. “She can no longer carry on a conversation or care for herself.”
McDonald read a statement to the court accepting responsibility and expressing regret. He pleaded no contest to assault with a deadly weapon, inflicting great bodily injury, the enhancement of using a gun, and robbery. Those charges will earn him 17 years behind bars, according to the plea agreement.
Coleman also read a statement to the court and pleaded no contest to inflicting great bodily harm on both victims – with an additional five years for an attack on a victim over the age of 70 – and residential burglary.
Coleman also admitted to a previous “strike,” having been released from prison just months before this incident. He was convicted on Mar. 15, 2016, for “discharging a firearm in a grossly negligent manner” during an incident at the Buckhorn Saloon in North Fork.
Coleman is expected to serve 20 years and 8 months in prison, and these counts will add three strikes to the one he already has.
“For all practical and legal purposes, pleading ‘no contest’ is the same as pleading guilty,” Judge Charles Wieland told both defendants, before setting a date for sentencing of July 12.