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Mario Santos Rosales

SANTA CRUZ

Plea bargain in pot-sale shooting

Accepting a plea bargain, a former Felton resident who shot a man in the leg during a marijuana robbery pleaded no contest to robbery and other allegations Tuesday in exchange for a promised sentence of eight to 10 years in prison.

Joseph Mohrmann, 20, was arrested in March 2011 in Montana, a month after the robbery.

On Feb. 18, 2011, Mohrmann and his then-girlfriend arranged to meet two other teens to buy marijuana when Mohrmann grabbed a bag of drugs and then shot one of the teens in the leg as the teen chased him, according to preliminary hearing testimony.

Several people came to court Tuesday in support of Mohrmann, including one young woman with tears in her eyes who shook her head forcefully while staring at Mohrmann, as if to convince him not to admit to the charges.

After an earlier hearing, Mohrmann's mother said it seemed unfair that the drug sellers were able to cut a deal with prosecutors to testify and remain free to sell drugs.

Mohrmann will be sentenced Jan. 16. He admitted to second-degree robbery and to special allegations that he used a firearm and caused great bodily injury.

Judge Paul Burdick said he would sentence him to eight years, if there were "no meaningful surprises" in the Probation Department's pre-sentencing report. Mohrmann will have to serve 85 percent of the sentence because he has been convicted of a serious and violent felony, Burdick told him.


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SANTA CRUZ

Trial date set in molest case

A trial date of March 4 was set Tuesday for a Watsonville man facing 15 felony child molestation charges.

Mario Santos Rosales, 40, has been accused of multiple counts of rape and molestation.

Detective Albert Lopez of the Watsonville Police Department testified during a preliminary hearing that the girl reported abuse over several years, beginning at age 7. Lopez said she reported the abuse to a youth counselor.

Rosales, a fieldworker, was arrested in February.

He is being held in County Jail in lieu of $1 million bail.