Plea bargain coming for chop shop suspects
by Denise Ellen Rizzo / Tracy Press
May 03, 2011 | 3969 views | 4 4 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
MANTECA — Two men charged with the operation of a stolen car chop shop are expecting a plea bargain offer from the district attorney’s office.

During continued arraignment for Randy Joseph Severson, 46, of Tracy, and Steve Wayne Rodrigues, 42, of Manteca, on Tuesday in Manteca Superior Court, the attorney for Rodrigues said the prosecutor is willing to try and settle the case.

“Earlier this morning I spoke to the deputy DA, and she is prepared to set the preliminary (hearing),” said attorney Russell Humphrey, speaking on behalf of both defense teams in the absence of Severson’s attorney, Kristine Eagle. “She said she will have an (plea bargain) offer to give us at the next hearing. In all likelihood, the case will be resolved before the prelim.”

But Humphrey did enter a not guilty plea on behalf of both defendants.

Severson and Rodrigues were arrested following police raids on Severson’s father’s home in rural Tracy on the 16000 block of West Grant Line Road, and Rodrigues’ home on the 1000 block of Spyglass Place in Manteca in late March. Both men face a variety of charges including operating a chop shop, auto theft and receiving stolen property.

Before the conclusion of the hearing, Severson asked the judge if he would be willing to give him a stay to see his father. He said his father is 84 years old and in intensive care for an unknown illness.

“I have no priors, your honor,” Severson said, while seated next to Rodrigues in the jury box.

Northup asked the acting deputy district attorney if he could make a recommendation for a possible release. The deputy DA said he couldn’t reply, because he didn’t know enough about the case. Northup denied Severson’s request and set the pre-preliminary hearing for May 9 at 8:30 a.m. in Manteca Superior Court.

Both men remain in custody in San Joaquin County Jail in French Camp.

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May 05, 2011
May 04, 2011
I don't know enough about the case to know, but if these guys have been doing this for 10 years that's as good as have "priors". I hope he is not released to go visit his father. He's lucky to have gotten away with committing these crimes for 10 years.
May 04, 2011
They have been stealing cars for over 10 years. NO DEAL. They claimed innocence. We need to put these guys away for destroying other peoples lives by stealing thier means of transportation.
May 04, 2011
They've been stealing other peoples property for ten years, ruining other peoples lives so they could prosper. TO HELL WITH PLEA BARGAINING.

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