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Man sentenced to 27 years behind bars for first-degree robbery

Gun brandishing incident leads to arrest of two individuals

Contra Costa County

Man sentenced to 27 years behind bars for first-degree robbery

Martinez, California – The Honorable John Cope sentenced defendant Paul Simmons (Muscat) of Richmond to 27 years in state prison last Thursday for first-degree home robbery of a female victim.

A Contra Costa County jury found Simmons guilty of two crimes on August 12, 2021. First-degree burglary with a person present was the second felony, and both offenses occurred in 2018. The jury also found the enhancements stated in Simmons’ first accusation, which included the use of a handgun, to be accurate.

“What the victim experienced that morning is anyone’s worst nightmare—the defendant put her behind the barrel of a handgun, in her own bedroom, just feet away from her one- and three-year-old daughters. The evidence was overwhelming—after once trying to take the life of victim’s husband, the defendant tracked her down, invaded her home, and forever robbed her family of their sense of safety. The victim’s bravery, the first-rate investigation by Brentwood and Livermore PD, the jury’s verdict, and the Court’s well-reasoned sentence may finally help this family begin to feel safe again in their own home,” Deputy District Attorney Amy Bailey stated. DDA Bailey prosecuted the case on behalf of the People.

In the early morning of September 17, 2018, the victim woke up in her Brentwood home with her two young daughters when she noticed someone in her bathroom behind a curtain. She quickly realized the person in her bedroom was not her husband. The defendant was wearing a mask, armed with a handgun he stole from the victim’s closet. The defendant pointed the handgun at the victim and directed her downstairs. She was able to escape from him and she went up to her bedroom with her children to hide.

While the victim and her children hid in a closet, the defendant fled with multiple items from her home, including three of her husband’s firearms, an Apple Watch, Beats headphones, car keys and ammunition. The police investigation, conducted by the Brentwood Police Department, determined Simmons entered the victim’s garage first, then entered the home and eventually in the victim’s bedroom. The investigation also determined that Simmons searched for blueprints of the victim’s home days before he committed the robbery.

Five days later, the defendant was arrested by Livermore Police Department officers after he was inside a Rite Aid acting in a suspicious manner. The defendant was casing the Rite Aid and wearing a disguise and gave a fake name to the police. Police located some of the items from the victim’s home, including the victim’s husband’s handgun. The Livermore investigation also connected Simmons to a string of other burglaries in Livermore for which the defendant was convicted in Alameda County.

Five years before this robbery, the defendant tried to kill the victim’s then boyfriend, now husband in Livermore. Due to this shooting, the defendant was convicted of a serious felony, assault with a firearm. This 2014 conviction is a strike, and the judge imposed the strike during the sentencing of this case.

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