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Grandmother to Stand Trial in Failed Holdup

As a Municipal Court judge ruled Tuesday that 71-year-old Mary Ruth Blanco must stand trial on charges of trying to rob a gas station to pay her family’s taxes, a spokeswoman for the district attorney said it is unlikely that prosecutors will seek to send her to prison.

Citrus Municipal Court Judge R. Bruce Minto ruled that there was sufficient evidence to order a trial on charges that could send the grandmother to prison for up to 13 years if she is convicted of attempted robbery. Arraignment in Pomona Superior Court was set for June 18.

During the preliminary hearing, a gas station attendant testified that Blanco was wearing a knit blue cap when she demanded money while holding a gun.

When the attendant wouldn’t give her any money, Blanco drove off as he sat behind bulletproof glass and called police. Blanco sobbed as she left the courtroom.

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Blanco, who has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity, is free on $5,000 bail. She faces a minimum of four years in state prison if convicted because of the special circumstance arising from the alleged use of a handgun in the unsuccessful May 4 holdup in West Covina.


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