Local News in Brief : Convicted Killer Gets 17 Years for Holdups

A man convicted of murdering a Sylmar motel manager during a night of robberies 3 1/2 years ago was sentenced Friday to 17 years in state prison on robbery and attempted-murder charges. His sentence for the murder was delayed while prosecutors decide whether to press for the death penalty.

The man, J. D. Adams Jr., 26, of Sepulveda, was sentenced to the maximum allowed for his conviction on six counts of robbery and one count of attempted murder, for a series of crimes on the night of July 22-23, 1982.

A San Fernando Superior Court jury also convicted Adams of murder with special circumstances for killing Motel 6 manager Kenneth Holbrook, 51.

The murder took place after Adams and an accomplice robbed Holbrook and his wife, Clyda, 58. Clyda Holbrook testified that Adams stabbed her and her husband in the back as they lay on the floor of the motel's office. She was seriously injured.

James Jennings, who admitted that he helped Adams commit the robberies, was sentenced last month to 25 years to life in prison. Chester Longmire, who testified that he drove Jennings and Adams around on the night of the robberies and murder, could receive 38 years to life in prison when he is sentenced Jan. 21.

Jurors could not decide whether to recommend that Adams be executed or sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole.

Deputy Dist. Atty. Fred Stewart said prosecutors will decide by Jan. 21 whether to have another jury decide the penalty against Adams or to ask Judge John H. Major to sentence Adams to life in prison without possibility of parole.

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