Ex-con who carjacked coach and student sentenced to life in prison

Ira Stringer apologized before sentencing
Posted at 8:04 PM, Apr 13, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-13 23:04:48-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -  An ex-con who kidnapped a coach and a 16-year-old baseball player from a field in Kearny Mesa at gunpoint and made the man drive him to Ramona, where he carjacked a 79-year-old woman to make his getaway, was sentenced Friday to life in prison without the possibility of parole plus two other life terms.

Ira Stringer, 48, was convicted last month of 13 felony charges, including kidnapping during a carjacking, kidnapping for extortion and assault with a firearm.

Stringer has a long criminal history, including a 1997 conviction for a home-invasion armed robbery in Spring Valley in which he held a family overnight and threatened to kill them.

"You are the poster child for the three-strikes law," Judge Frederick Maguire told the defendant. "You've demonstrated that you're a danger to the community."

Stringer was serving a 20-year sentence for robbery in Orange County when he was charged last year with abducting 27-year-old Dylan Graham and 16-year-old Jack Spencer from Hickman Field in Kearny Mesa, where Graham was giving the teenager a batting lesson on Dec. 23, 2015.

Deputy District Attorney James Koerber said Stringer approached the victims holding a loaded .357 Magnum and demanded that he be driven to Ramona.

Stringer told Graham that he had been in a gunfight and needed to get "far away," according to the prosecutor.

During the 40-minute drive to Ramona, Stringer held the gun to Graham's head.

Graham said he decided to do something, letting go of the steering wheel and jumping in the back seat in an attempt to get the gun away from Stringer.

Graham said Stringer fired three shots, all barely missing him. The victim's car crashed, and was a total loss.

Outside the car, Stringer acted like he was hurt and flagged down and carjacked 79-year-old Barbara Roulier and stole her car.

Roulier, now 81, told Stringer she has forgiven him for what he did to her that day.

Stringer robbed a convenience store in San Diego three days after the kidnapping and carjacking and a few hours after that, robbed a store in Orange County with a shotgun.