A 20-year-old woman pleaded guilty and was immediately sentenced to 10 years in prison Thursday for her role in a carjacking and robbery in which the motorist was shot despite turning over the vehicle’s keys.
As part of the plea deal, a more serious charge of attempted murder that includes a life sentence on conviction, was dropped against Janet Morales.
Also dropped were sentencing enhancements for knowing that a 17-year-old boy allegedly involved in the robbery was armed with a handgun during the crime.
Santa Ana police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna said the victim was approached just before midnight Jan. 19 of last year in the 1400 block of South Shelton Street. The two suspects, who were in a black sedan, pulled up to her Nissan Xterra and Morales knocked on the window, asking for a cigarette lighter.
When the driver got out of the SUV to oblige Morales, the 17-year-old pointed a gun at the victim and demanded her keys, Bertagna alleged. The woman handed over the keys, but the teen was accused of shooting her twice anyway.
The teen got into the black sedan and drove off while Morales took the wheel of the victim’s car, Bertagna said.
Hours later police spotted the Xterra at a Chevron station at 1104 S. Bristol St. and arrested Morales and the boy, he said.