December 18, 2012 > Armed robbery suspects arrested and sentenced
Armed robbery suspects arrested and sentenced
Submitted By Fremont PD
Due to the number of armed robberies Detectives from the Fremont Police Department Robbery Unit worked together with Detectives from the Milpitas, San Leandro, Union City, Hayward and Newark Police Departments. Biological evidence, witness statements, suspect statements and surveillance evidence initially linked the group to the robbery series.
On August 19, 2011, suspect Orlando Zendejas (18 yr old of Newark, CA) was arrested by the Fremont Police Department SWAT team. On August 26, 2011 SWAT teams from Fremont, Milpitas, San Leandro, Newark and Union City arrested suspects Andrew Heilman (18 yr old of Newark, CA), Omare Murphy (18 yr old of Newark, CA), Roger Perez (18 yr old of Newark, CA) and Keirsten Brown (18 yr old of Newark, CA) during search warrants served at their residences. On August 31, 2011 the US Marshalls Service arrested suspect Walter Simmons (19 yr old of Newark, CA) at a residence in Hayward, CA. In September 2011, suspects Christopher Phillips (20 yr old of Newark, CA), Vincent Castillo (22 yr old of Newark, CA) and Antonio Reza (19 yr old of Newark, CA) were arrested by the Fremont Police Department Robbery Unit.
In September 2011, all nine suspects were charged in connection with the armed robberies. Prior to the start of trial, eight of the nine suspects plead 'no contest' to their involvement in the robbery series. Four suspects (Zendejas, Perez, Murphy and Heilman) received State Prison sentences ranging from three (3) fourteen (14) years. Brown, Castillo, Phillips and Reza received sentences in county jail. Zendejas, Perez, Murphy, Heilman and Brown are also facing armed robbery charges in Santa Clara County behind the Milpitas robbery.
Suspect Walter Simmons pled not guilty in the case. His jury trial began in early October 2012. On October 16, 2012, Simmons was found guilty of robbery, attempted robbery, accessory to robbery and a use of a firearm enhancement. Simmons was acquitted on the other charges relating to the series. On December 3, 2012, Simmons was sentenced to ten (10) years in State Prison for his involvement in the robberies.