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Countywide : Jurors Expected to Get Robbery Case

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Jurors are expected to begin deliberations today in the case of two men accused of robbing a Ventura man and stealing his car.

Terry Wilson, 33, of Simi Valley and Brade Molina, 22, of Gilroy are accused of robbing John West, 26, in November. Wilson also is accused of using a deadly weapon.

Deputy Dist. Atty. Patricia M. Murphy said the defendants flagged down West in downtown Ventura and persuaded him to give them a ride. Then Wilson, who was sitting in the back seat, put his arm around West’s neck and held a screwdriver to his throat, Murphy said.

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Molina took three rings from West while Wilson ripped off a necklace, the prosecutor said. Then the robbers forced West out of the car and sped off, she said.

Wilson and Molina were arrested a short time later in east Ventura, and police recovered the jewelry.

Under questioning by his attorney, Deputy Public Defender Todd W. Howeth, Wilson admitted that they took the jewelry but said it was West’s idea. Wilson said that they smoked cocaine with West and that when it was gone, he wanted them to use the jewelry to get more, using his car.

Wilson acknowledged that he and Molina did not intend to return the jewelry or the car, but said he never used force to obtain them. Molina did not testify.

Howeth and Molina’s attorney, Timothy J. Quinn, say their clients are guilty of theft but not robbery. One of West’s neighbors, Mike Gravelle, testified Tuesday that West is known in the Ventura Avenue area as a chronic liar.

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