A state appeals court panel has upheld a man’s conviction for kidnapping a 79-year-old woman during an August 2012 robbery-motivated attack inside her South Pasadena home.
In a ruling released Monday, a three-justice panel from California’s 2nd District Court of Appeal rejected the defense’s contention that a judge should have granted Alonzo Bernard Johnson’s motion for acquittal on a count of kidnapping to commit robbery.
Johnson surprised the woman in the kitchen, struck her across the side of her face with her phone, demanded her money, struck her again in the face, grabbed her and pushed her into the bedroom, where he struck her over and over with a closed fist on Aug. 6, 2012, the panel noted in its 10-page ruling.
The justices found that Johnson’s movement of the woman was sufficient to ensure that she was no longer visible from the front of the house, reducing the likelihood of detection by others, and that the attack ceased only after he was discovered by her grandson.
Johnson was convicted of kidnapping to commit robbery and first-degree residential robbery involving that attack, in which the woman suffered a brain bleed and ruptured ear drum. He was also convicted of first-degree burglary with a person present involving a June 22, 2012, home burglary in Pasadena, in which another 79-year-old woman walked into her bedroom and found him stealing jewelry before he fled from the home.
He was sentenced in August 2016 to 95 years to life in state prison.