East Palo Alto man sentenced for 2013 home-invasion robbery

Teen accomplice also to face up to three years in prison

Two young East Palo Alto men who lured an ex-girlfriend away from her family home and then returned to rob her mother with a machete and a gun face three years in prison for their admitted crimes.

Juan Daniel Ceballos, 20, and Cristian Joshua Estrada, 17, pleaded no contest to home invasion robbery and other charges in February. Ceballos was given a three-year sentence Wednesday, April 23, in San Mateo County Superior Court; Estrada faces a possible three-years to be imposed in early June.

On July 3, 2013, at 1:30 p.m., Estrada lured his ex-girlfriend, a juvenile, away from the family home on Lanyard Drive in Redwood City as part of a plan with two accomplices, according to the San Mateo County District Attorney's Office. After Estrada and the girl left, Ceballos, armed with a machete, and an unidentified third person armed with a handgun, forced entry into the home through a bedroom window and confronted the girl's mother, who was home alone.

Ceballos and the third person threatened the mother with the weapons and made her surrender her rings and jewelry. Ceballos entered the bedroom and stole additional jewelry. He and the other robber then led the mother into the garage and ordered her to open a safe. When she took too long, they demanded money from her purse, but they became nervous and fled the residence, the DA's office said.

Estrada later returned with the daughter. Police later interviewed him and searched his cell phone with his consent. Finding incriminating text messages with Ceballos, officers obtained a search warrant for Ceballos' car and home and found the stolen property and the machete, the DA's office said.

On Feb. 4, Ceballos pleaded no contest to one count of home invasion robbery as well as serious felony and violent felony "strike" allegations. On Wednesday, the court sentenced him to state prison for three years with 248 days credit for time served. His case was continued to this morning for a restitution report.

Estrada was charged as an adult. He also pleaded no contest to one count of home invasion robbery as well as serious felony and violent felony "strike" allegations on Feb. 4, on condition of a maximum of three years in state prison. On April 21, Judge Jonathan Karesh agreed to continue the sentencing hearing until after Estrada's 18th birthday, when he could become eligible for consideration for the Delancey Street Foundation and Jericho residential treatment programs as a condition of probation. Prosecutors objected, arguing for a prison sentence.

During a March 6 hearing, Karesh indicated he would not consider probation without a long-term residential treatment program. Estrada will be sentenced on June 5. He remains in custody on $250,000 bail.


Like this comment
Posted by Tiffany
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Apr 23, 2014 at 8:19 pm

What a cold piece of work.

Like this comment
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Apr 23, 2014 at 11:08 pm

Hmmm is a registered user.

Tiffany - cold but stupid. Nasty amateurs. It could've ended really badly, but thankfully, it didn't.

Like this comment
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Apr 24, 2014 at 1:42 am

Premeditated handgun assault. 3 years. Does that mean 18 months and out?

Like this comment
Posted by what??
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Apr 24, 2014 at 10:36 am

too light a sentence..this took planning. yup, out in 18 months and will go back to doing the same things... such a waste.

Like this comment
Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 24, 2014 at 11:11 am

Only 3 years ?! - for people who have shown themselves capable of such an act, if I could force a laugh - it would almost be a joke. Maybe I'm just a bit "old Testament" but I am doubtful about any future abilities at citizenship of someone who ever seriously threatened someone's life with a machete.

What is it about our country/culture or whatever that we produce so many lawless psychopaths ... and at all areas of society.

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