Man Pleads No Contest in 14 Supermarket Robberies

A Ventura County man pleaded no contest to 18 counts of robbery and one count of attempted robbery Monday in a series of holdups at 14 supermarkets across Los Angeles County.

Ronald Shelley Peterson, 40, entered the plea before Van Nuys Superior Court Judge Alan B. Haber, who scheduled sentencing for Aug. 15.

Peterson faces a maximum sentence of about 40 years in prison.

Although Peterson did not enter into a plea bargain with prosecutors, the Los Angeles County district attorney's office will recommend a sentence of no more than 32 years in prison because Peterson pleaded before a trial, said Deputy Dist. Atty. Chesley McKay Jr.

Peterson, who represented himself with assistance from a private attorney, said he pleaded because he just wanted "to get this over with."

Peterson was charged in connection with 14 armed robberies of Alpha Beta, Albertson's, Safeway, Ralphs and Vons supermarkets from Aug. 6 to Sept. 17, 1986, officials said. He took amounts ranging from a few hundred to several thousand dollars, officials said.

Five of the robberies occurred in the San Fernando Valley.

Peterson's accomplice in the robberies, Lupe Gonzalez Escobedo, 34, recently pleaded guilty to 15 counts of robbery and was sentenced to nine years in state prison, authorities said.

Peterson and Escobedo were arrested in Santa Barbara on Sept. 25, 1986.

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