VAN NUYS : Man Gets 30 Years in Store Robberies

A Los Angeles man was sentenced Friday in Van Nuys Superior Court to 30 years in prison for robbing liquor stores in the west San Fernando Valley.

Patrick Shelton, 25, was convicted March 17 on 24 counts involving robbery and assault with a firearm.

Sentencing for Shelton's accomplice, Willie B. Neal, 21, of Lancaster, who was convicted of similar charges, was postponed until Monday because his attorney wanted additional time to consider filing a motion for a new trial.

Deputy Dist. Atty. Carole Chizever said she was disappointed that Shelton was not sentenced to the maximum 38 years and eight months. Neal faces a maximum sentence of 40 years and four months in prison. Shelton and Neal robbed six liquor stores and one convenience store at gunpoint in January, 1991, Chizever said. The crimes involved about 25 people, and during the course of the robberies Shelton beat several people with his gun, the prosecutor said.

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