A state appeal court Tuesday upheld long prison terms given to two Ventura County men in the slaying of their accomplice during a 1991 robbery at a New Year’s party in Ojai.
Frank Stoddard and Timothy Antonelli were sentenced to 25 years to life on the murder charge. They plotted and executed the robbery of an all-night party, resulting in the death of cohort Ron Brown.
Brown, 22, was killed by a party guest who managed to disarm one of the intruders.
Stoddard and Antonelli also received five years because a gun was used in the crime, 10 years, 4 months because of several related counts of assault, burglary, robbery and conspiracy, and two more years because of prior prison terms.
In sentencing the men, Superior Court Judge Charles R. McGrath rejected defense pleas to ignore the murder conviction and sentence the defendants only for related assault and robbery charges.
In their appeal to the 2nd District Court of Appeal in Ventura, the defendants claimed the evidence in the case did not support their convictions, that the concurrent sentences they received constituted cruel and unusual punishment and that various instructional errors were given to the jury. The appeal court rejected the claims.