Two people accused of robbing a pregnant woman in her Pacific Beach apartment before one of them allegedly stole a San Diego police car and drove it into the water at Fiesta Island must stand trial on hot prowl burglary, false imprisonment, auto theft and other charges, a judge ruled Wednesday.
Carolina Souza testified during a morning-long preliminary hearing that James Graham and Stephanie Majsterski came into her residence on Pacific Beach Drive about 9 p.m. on Dec. 14.
Souza said Graham appeared to be concealing a knife as he approached her and demanded money and her car, while Majsterski blocked the door.
When Souza told Graham she didn't have any money, he grabbed a wallet, laptop, and some other items off the table and left with Majsterski, the witness testified.
As he fled, Graham told Souza to wait in the apartment for 20 seconds before going outside, she said.
"I was terrified," Souza said. "I didn't want to leave the apartment. I didn't know where they were."
No knife was found, law enforcement officials said.
San Diego police Officer Alfredo Nafarrete said he left the keys in his cruiser while he and his partner chased Graham and Majsterski on foot, but the SUV was gone when he came back. Graham was arrested but Majsterski remained at large.
Rafael Mendoza said he was on a date with his then-girlfriend on Fiesta Island when a police cruiser drove past them and into the water.
The witness said he looked at Majsterski after she crashed into the water, and she took off running. She was arrested a short time later as she allegedly tried to sneak off the island as a passenger in another car.
Judge Frederick Link ruled that enough evidence was presented at the preliminary hearing for Graham and Majsterski to proceed to trial on five counts, including robbery and resisting an officer.
Graham, 40, who has 10 robbery convictions dating back to 2008, was on parole at the time of the Pacific Beach robbery and faces more than 55 years to life in prison if convicted, said Deputy District Attorney Lucy
Majsterski, 25, faces nine years behind bars if found guilty.
Both defendants will be back in court April 25 for arraignment.
Police had to call in a lifeguard boat to try and locate the SUV in the water. Once it was located, they had to use two tow trucks to bring the police car back to shore.