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Robbers Get Less Than a Year Behind Bars

The two defendants committed at least 10 robberies in Belmont, San Mateo and Burlingame.

A pair of East Palo Alto residents who pleaded no contest in April to felony chargers in connection with a string of robberies in Belmont, San Mateo and Burlingame have been sentenced to less than a year in custody.

Melissa Pearlene Butler, 21, and Marc Anthony Jordan, 24, initially pleaded not guilty in San Mateo County Superior Court in connection with at least 10 robberies in San Mateo and Burlingame at their initial felony arraignment in August 2011.

On Friday, Judge Craig Parsons sentenced Jordan to two years in prison with credit for 485 days served, and Butler to a year in county jail with credit for 13 days served. Prosecutors had asked for a two-year prison sentence for each defendant.

The pair along with a juvenile were arrested Aug. 11, 2011, after the San Mateo County task force identified three suspects in the series of robberies, and detectives obtained search warrants for their East Palo Alto homes.

Police said that property seized during the searches linked the suspects to a robbery in which two suspects brandishing handguns approached a delivery driver as he returned to his vehicle after a delivery.

The suspects demanded the driver's money, assaulted the man, and fled on foot after taking his cash and property.

Another similar incident occurred two days later, when a man exiting a vehicle on South Grant Street was approached by two suspects, one who brandished a handgun. The suspects assaulted the man, took his property and cash, and fled on foot.

Similar robberies also happened in Burlingame and Belmont on Wednesday of that week.

In the Belmont robbery, employees of a local restaurant were walking to their cars after closing the restaurant for the night when three suspects approached and demanded money. Two of the suspects brandished handguns, and the trio took a purse and laptop from one victim and money from the other, Belmont police said.

The suspects fled south on Civic Lane toward Broadway, Belmont police said.

During the searches on Aug. 11, 2011, detectives seized a handgun that police said matched the description of the one used in the robberies.

At his pretrial conference on April 16, Jordan pleaded no contest to felony robbery charges in exchange for a maximum sentence of three years in prison.

Butler on April 24 also pleaded no contest to felony robbery charges, and faces a maximum of two years in prison.

Jordan remained in custody on $250,000 bail, while Butler was out of custody on a $250,000 bail bond. Butler was given a stay on surrender to the jai until Dec. 1.



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Eric Saund October 09, 2012 at 03:15 PM
Can you please do a followup story on why such light sentences were handed down for such serious crimes? Does this judge have a reputation for being sympathetic to criminals and unconcerned about recent and and future victims in the community? Was there a plea bargain due to weak evidence? This is somewhat disturbing and it would be helpful to have a fuller picture in case there are mitigating circumstances that make this failure of justice less egregious than it seems.
Tom Ricks October 09, 2012 at 03:51 PM
I agree with Eric --Use a handgun -means they were willing to use deadly force---this was not a one-time crime----In my book...I'm thinking 20 years......these are not 16 year old kids..... why the light sentence??? If it was the judge.....when does he come up for re-election??????

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