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Athlete Convicted of Bank Robbery Gets More Prison Time

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Three weeks after being handed a federal prison term for robbing a Westlake Village bank, former high school wrestling champ Todd Hoult was dealt a second blow Friday: an additional 56 months in state prison for violating his probation in an earlier case.

The sentence means the 24-year-old from Simi Valley will spend the next 9 1/2 years in federal and state prisons.

He also faces the threat of life in prison if he commits another crime because he now has three strikes against him, prosecutors said.

The three strikes law requires imposition of a 25-year-to-life sentence upon conviction of a third serious felony. Serious felonies include most violent crimes and some property offenses.

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Hoult sat glumly in Judge Allan L. Steele’s courtroom Friday as his sentence was read. Steele let Hoult go free on probation four years ago after the then 19-year-old pleaded guilty to robbing four homes in Thousand Oaks.

Steele was not as lenient this time.

“This was a case where the court bent over backward because of his youth,” Steele said. “I gave him a shot and he is now involved in escalating criminality.”

Hoult was the ringleader of a string of burglaries in a Thousand Oaks neighborhood in 1992, Steele said, taking coin collections, VCRs and even weapons from homes in four back-to-back robberies.

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After being caught by police, Hoult confessed to authorities and was given five years probation.

But in August of last year, he failed to appear in court and his probation was revoked, court records show.

Four months later, authorities say Hoult grabbed $8,925 at gunpoint from Coast Federal Savings in Westlake Village as his girlfriend, Tabetha Garibay, waited in a gold Corvette getaway car.

The couple, who were married in July by a federal magistrate, pleaded guilty to the bank robbery charges earlier this year.

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Hoult, a champion wrestler at Agoura High School and a former Moorpark College student, was sentenced to 57 months in federal prison.

Garibay, a standout soccer player at Newbury Park High and at Pepperdine University, is scheduled to be sentenced in U.S. District Court on Sept. 16. She has been told she could get a sentence of 24 to 36 months.

Although Garibay is out on bail, the Newbury Park woman did not attend her husband’s hearing in Ventura on Friday.

During the sentencing, Ventura County Deputy Dist. Atty. Robin McGrew pushed for a stiff prison term because of Hoult’s repeat offenses.

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“He had an opportunity for scholarships, he had an opportunity for college and he has blown it,” she said. “There is no reason to give him any more leniency.”

Wearing jailhouse blues and a freshly buzzed haircut, Hoult showed little emotion as McGrew and Steele chided him. He smiled meekly at his attorney as he walked out of the courtroom and back to the jail.

Ventura County prosecutors fought hard to bring Hoult back to Superior Court after his federal sentencing. He has been held at a San Bernardino jail pending assignment to a federal prison.

Prosecutors had a narrow window of time in which they could bring Hoult back to Ventura because of his looming transfer, attorneys said.

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After Friday’s hearing, Deputy Public Defender Bob Willey said his client was clearly upset by the additional 56-month prison sentence.

“You have to think about the fact that he is 24 and he is looking at about 9 1/2 years of prison time, so forget the 20s,” Willey said.

“If he crosses a sidewalk wrong he is going to be looking at a life prison sentence,” he said. “He’s scared.”


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