One of two men on trial in last year’s Windsor armored car robbery has bowed out, pleading no contest to charges carrying a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.
Sergey Gutsu, 25, of Antelope, announced his decision Monday as the trial neared its end.
The convicted felon is suspected in a number of other crimes spanning the state including the 2015 murder of a Southern California sandwich shop owner. He will be sentenced Jan. 25 to a maximum of 51 years to life in prison.
He’s expected to be moved to Los Angeles County to face trial in the killing. It was unclear why Gutsu decided not to fight the charges. Neither his lawyer nor prosecutors could be reached Wednesday for comment.
Meanwhile, the fate of his co-defendant in the Windsor case, Ivan Morales, also 25, of Lake County, will be decided by jurors. Prosecutors said he and Gutsu drove into the Lakewood Village shopping center the afternoon of July 12, 2016, intent on robbing an armored truck parked in front of a Chase Bank branch. Morales shot and wounded the guard with an AK-47 rifle and grabbed a bag filled with $30,000 in cash.
The men fled east in a stolen car but were spotted as they entered Calistoga. Gutsu shot at a police officer who rammed him with his patrol car, injuring and arresting Gutsu. Morales fled on foot but was caught hours later after a manhunt. Both were charged with armed robbery, attempted murder and assault. Trial testimony began in early October and was interrupted by wildfires that destroyed two jurors’ homes.
You can reach Staff Writer Paul Paul Payne at 707-521-5250 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @ppayne.