A Vista man pleaded guilty Thursday to all 12 charges against him involving a series of North County hold-ups, just as jury selection in his trial was about to begin.
Gary Von Molling, 24, will face a maximum state prison term of 18 years in an agreement with San Diego Superior Court Judge Earl Maas Jr.
Both Maas and Deputy Dist. Atty. Bill Woodward said Molling could have faced 24 years and 8 months in prison without the agreement.
Woodward attributed the plea to strong evidence against Molling.
“I would say a trial would (have) resulted in a conviction, probably on all counts,” the prosecutor said.
Molling, whose parents live in Vista, will be sentenced July 11.
He pleaded guilty to 10 robbery and attempted robbery charges, and to assault with a deadly weapon and burglary.
A burglary involving Rancho Bernardo attorney John Van Sickle, 60, and his wife on Sept. 20 drew the most attention after the couple was interviewed about how they fought off their attacker.
The couple refused to surrender any valuables to the robber and he left empty-handed after Georgette Van Sickle, 60, stabbed him in the back twice with a kitchen knife.