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More robbery charges expected for alleged half of female robbery duo

Published: Thursday, March 14 2013 4:11 p.m. MDT

SALT LAKE CITY — A woman accused of being half of a female duo involved in a number of robberies will face more criminal charges.

Sandra Chotia-Thompson, 40, is facing aggravated robbery, a first-degree felony, in connection with a Jan. 9 robbery at the Grocery Store, 1224 S. 400 East. But at a hearing in 3rd District Court Thursday, her attorney indicated more charges are likely on the way.

"We anticipate further significant, global negotiations on other robberies about to be filed," defense attorney Michael Peterson said.

Chotia-Thompson waived her right to hold a hearing on the evidence against her based on the understanding that prosecutors will reduce the aggravated robbery charge to a second-degree felony. She also cited the "ongoing negotiations."

Prosecutor Nathaniel Sanders said he could not say when the additional charges may be filed, but said there are already "discussions of there being future offers."

Chotia-Thompson and Kelly Fay Simons, 38, were apparently believed to have been responsible for a series of armed robberies in Salt Lake City, according to a letter from Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill to Salt Lake Police Chief Chris Burbank. The letter justified the actions of a South Salt Lake police officer who shot and killed Simons.

That officer was told that the suspects they were seeking in connection with these robberies, including one robbery that led to an officer-involved shooting in Murray, were Simons and Chotia-Thompson.

"Simons was identified as the shooter in the Jan. 5 incident with the Murray police officer and as the principal perpetrator in most of the robberies," Gill wrote. "Thompson was identified as the getaway driver in the robberies."

Simons was shot and killed Jan. 9 while trying to flee from police. Chotia-Thompson was arrested later that evening after she allegedly robbed a cashier at the Grocery Store at gunpoint.

Chotia-Thompson will have an arraignment hearing March 22.

E-mail: emorgan@deseretnews.com, Twitter: DNewsCrimeTeam

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