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Last-minute plea deal gives Citrus Heights Rite Aid robber 15 years to life

Sentinel staff report–
The trial was set to finally begin this week for the main suspect in a 2017 Rite Aid robbery in Citrus Heights that left an 87-year-old woman dead, but prosecutors offered Kimani Eli Randolph a last-minute plea deal he accepted just before the trial was set to begin on Monday.

Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Shelly Orio confirmed in an email to The Sentinel that Randolph plead no-contest to second-degree murder, along with two counts of robbery and burglary. He is now scheduled to be sentenced on April 5, where Orio said he is expected to be sentenced to 15 years to life in prison.

From 2017: Elderly woman killed in Rite Aid robbery remembered as humble, loving

“This was a tragic case that resulted in the senseless loss of a completely uninvolved victim simply trying to walk into the store,” Citrus Heights Police Chief Ron Lawrence told The Sentinel following the outcome of Monday’s plea deal. “While nothing can bring the victim back, I am pleased to see the defendant sentenced for his actions.”

On Nov. 27, 2017, police said Randolph and two accomplices entered the Rite Aid store at the corner of Auburn Boulevard and Van Maren Lane, jumped the counter of the pharmacy and demanded prescription drugs. After grabbing an undisclosed amount of drugs, the trio ran out of the store, knocking over Marilyn Ann Stribley as she was walking into the store. She died several days later in the hospital.

Citrus Heights police said tips from the community soon resulted in Randolph being identified and arrested in Las Vegas, with the help of the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department and the U.S. Marshal’s Service.

Police say one of the three suspects is still outstanding. Another of the trio, Jakob Johns, is now in prison after committing a “near-identical heist” in Merced County, according to The Sacramento Bee.

Asked for an update on the investigation, Chief Lawrence said the Citrus Heights Police Department is continuing its investigation for the remaining at-large suspect. He remains hopeful the third individual will be identified and “held accountable for their participation in this crime.”

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