A couple of Arkansas residents will be spending extended time behind bars in California after pleading no contest to multiple offenses stemming from an October carjacking in Davis.
James Hammons, 34, of Rodgers, Ark., pleaded no contest to six felonies, including carjacking, felony evading a police officer, vehicle theft, receipt of stolen property, possession of marijuana for sale, and possession of personal identifying information of 10 or more people. He agreed to serve 12 years and 4 months in state prison, according to a Yolo County District Attorney's Office news release.
His companion, Sara Erbe, 39, of Fayetteville, Ark., pleaded no contest to three felonies, including vehicle theft, possession of marijuana for sale, and possession of personal identifying information of 10 or more people. As part of her plea agreement, Erbe will serve two years and eight months in county prison, according to the DA's office.
On Oct. 8, 2012 a Davis police officer noticed a suspiciously painted car at the Motel 6. He checked the license plate and determined that the car was stolen. Hammons came out of the motel room and fled when the officer asked to talk to him.
Hammons ran to the nearby Taco Bell drive-trough line and tried to get into a car with a family, but the father, who was driving, was able to stop him. Hammons then went to a car at the front of the line and told the woman in the vehicle that he had a gun. The woman got out of the car, and Hammons drove off.
The Davis police officer gave chase in his patrol car. After a high-speed pursuit, Hammons drove to the Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area, crashed through the metal gate and continued down the levee road. He eventually drove off the road into a marsh. Hammons then left the car and ran to a cornfield.
The California Highway Patrol provided air support and used thermal imaging to locate Hammons, who did not respond to requests from law enforcement officers to surrender. He was eventually caught by a Davis police K9.
Officials said Hammons was found with a driver's license and other identifying information stolen from a 19-year-old man in Oklahoma.
Later, officers at the Motel 6 saw Erbe leave Hammons' motel room. In the room, they discovered personal identification information, including driver's licenses, Social Security cards, checking account documents, credit cards, and health insurance documents of more than 60 different people from across the United States, including Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, Oregon and California. Officers also found stolen license plates, various items of stolen property, methamphetamine, more than 2 pounds of marijuana and other items associated with the sale of narcotics.
Authorities said Erbe and Hammons have outstanding arrest warrants and face additional charges in Arkansas.
They are to be sentenced April 11 by Yolo Superior Court Judge Timothy Fall.