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1 Pleads Guilty in Robbery of Official’s Wife

One of three men charged with robbing and beating a Lodi city councilman’s wife while she was in San Diego has pleaded guilty to robbery.

William Austin, 20, of San Diego, faces a maximum of three years in state prison when he is sentenced April 25.

Austin, Dwayne Elliott, 21, and Willie Rankin, 22, are accused of involvement in the beating and robbery of Marjorie Reid, 62, who was injured Oct. 16 in the parking lot behind Kelly’s Steak House on Hotel Circle North in Mission Valley.

Reid is the wife of Fred Reid, 66, who was in San Diego attending a League of California Cities convention.

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Marjorie Reid suffered a broken hip and knee and major head injuries.

Austin pleaded guilty Monday just as his case was to be assigned to a courtroom for trial. Trial, however, was delayed for the other two co-defendants, both of whom are in the Navy, until April 3.

San Diego Superior Court Judge Jesus Rodriguez dismissed the great bodily injury allegation against Austin, which could have increased his sentence by several years.

Austin’s attorney, Milly Durovic, said Austin was not admitting culpability in the crime just because he pleaded guilty.

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“He took a plea bargain to avoid greater punishment if convicted in a trial,” Durovic said.

Austin remains in County Jail pending sentencing. The two sailors are both free on $25,000 bail.


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