Three defendants charged in the robbery of a Canyon Country bank will be in court next month for a preliminary hearing, which might see a fourth defendant, eventually, officials said Monday.
“The defense all indicated that they were ready to go within the (10-day) period, so we’re set for Feb. 7,” said Moira Curry, deputy district attorney for Los Angeles County.
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Phillip Ely, Lavelle Mosley and Terion Collins, all of Los Angeles, are accused of seven felony counts, including second degree robbery, kidnapping to commit another crime, unlawfully taking a vehicle and evading an officer against traffic, according to a criminal complaint.
Curry also said she wouldn’t be surprised if there were further delays because Mosley recently filed a Marsden motion, which is motion to seek the dismissal of a publicly appointed counsel.
“Mosley wanted to fire his publicly appointed counsel,” Curry said. “The judge denied that motion,” she said. “I’m assuming the complaint is because he’s still sitting in jail.”
A fourth suspect has been identified, but is not yet in custody, officials said, due to the fact that he could not be identified by security camera footage.
“They know who the fourth suspect is, but they don’t have enough evidence to arrest or charge him,” said Lt. Wegener of the Major Crimes Bureau of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
The suspect’s name is not being released because officials are “holding out hope” they might be able to get what they need to bring him in, Wegener said. “You never know,” he added.
The delays that are expected for the trial, which could be delayed again because the defendants have had problems with their counsel, are costly for taxpayers, but could aid in the prosecution of the suspects, Curry said.
“They are making me subpoena all of their witnesses. It’s a very expensive process, and you and I as taxpayers pay for that, when they could have right from the get-go determined that they weren’t ready,” she added.“The longer they wait, the better for me.”
Initially, one of the defendants waived his right to a speedy trial, but the case was then delayed due to changes in representation.
“One of the attorneys is engaged in trial, and at the same time, Mr. Collins hired a new attorney, Christopher Darden. He requested a discovery, so the matter is now put over to Jan. 28,” Curry said last month.
Darden was part of the prosecution during the famous O.J. Simpson murder trial, when he infamously asked Simpson to try on the bloody glove.
Collins was apprehended by sheriff’s deputies near the 210 freeway in Sylmar shortly after the robbery, which resulted in a nationally televised police pursuit.
“They don’t seem to be interested in an offer at this time, but these things change,” Curry said.
Two of the suspects were taken into custody after they were captured by TV cameras throwing money out of the car. Ely and Mosley were in the car when it came to a stop in South Los Angeles, Curry said.
At least four men robbed the Bank of America in Canyon Country in September, and then led deputies in a prusuit across Los Angeles County, and into downtown, where they began throwing money out of their getaway vehicle as dozens filled the streets.
A fourth suspect was captured on a security camera during the pursuit, but he is still at large, according to officials.
Two individuals were still in the vehicle when it was stopped by sheriff’s deputies. A third suspect was captured near the 210 freeway in Sylmar. That was where the fourth suspect was last seen.