Judge says probation not prison in La Jolla case

Posted at 5:28 PM, May 04, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-04 20:28:01-04

One of two men who broke into a La Jolla home and held the 82-year-old resident as they ransacked the residence, was sentenced Wednesday to five years probation and ordered to complete a two-year drug treatment program.

Jose Luis Delgado, 20, is also wanted in Los Angeles County for alleged involvement in four or five similar break-ins, authorities said.

San Diego Superior Court Judge Michael Groch suspended a five-year prison sentence for Delgado as long as he completes the drug program and is successful on probation.

Deputy District Attorney Scott Pirrello argued that the five-year prison sentence should be imposed, as it was on co-defendant Justin Naranjo previously.

Pirrello said the burglars broke into the victim's home around 11 p.m. or midnight last July 12, grabbed her from behind and put her in a chokehold. They stole televisions, her wallet and jewelry before fleeing.

The prosecutor said the victim didn't come to court Wednesday because she is still scared.

"It's been a nightmare for her," Pirrello told the judge. "It's everyone's worst nightmare."

The judge cited Delgado's age, his lack of criminal record, drugs and a rough upbringing as reasons for sentencing the defendant to probation instead of prison.