Former elementary school principal arrested on drugs and weapons charges cuts plea deal

Rachel Escobedo pleaded guilty to lesser charges

SAN DIEGO - An elementary school principal arrested for having a stolen gun and drugs in her car has cut a deal that spares her prison time.

Rachel Escobedo, 45, was supposed to go to court Thursday for her preliminary exam, but 10News has learned she pleaded guilty to lesser charges last week.

Escobedo has been on leave from her job at Lee Elementary School in Paradise Hills following her arrest last September. She has been free on bond.

According to police, Escobedo was in her car with a 60-year-old man near Rolando Park, not far from her home in La Mesa. She was arrested after officers say they found a loaded and stolen pistol, dozens of prescription pain pills, an open bottle of vodka and a gram of meth. 

She originally pleaded not guilty to three felonies, but last week she pleaded guilty to two misdemeanors. She will spend three years on probation, pay fines and court costs and participate in community service and domestic violence counseling. 

Parents and students at Lee Elementary told 10News the arrest rocked the campus but everyone has moved on. 

"I was shocked to be honestly, (sic) when it first happened, I was very shocked, especially since I went to this school," said Candie James, whose son is in fourth grade at the school.

Justin Christopher said, "I knew that they were going to take her and a new principal was going to come."

10News went to Escobedo's home in La Mesa Monday evening. A man who said he rents a room from her answered the door and said she was at church. 

A spokesman with San Diego Unified School District was not aware of the plea deal until contacted by 10News, but said "these types of convictions" would prohibit Escobedo from working in a California public school. 

She was a teacher and an administrator with the district since 1996.

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