Woman accused in robbery spree faces 9 new charges, including attempted murder

Published: Friday, April 5 2013 11:25 a.m. MDT

SALT LAKE CITY — A woman accused of committing a string of robberies in January now faces nine new charges, including attempted aggravated murder.

Sandra Kaye Chotia-Thompson was arrested Jan. 9, about 11 hours after her alleged accomplice, Kelly Fay Simons, 38, was shot and killed during a confrontation with the Joint Criminal Apprehension Team. The two women were suspected in at least six and as many as nine armed robberies. Chotia-Thompson was charged with committing one aggravated robbery a few days after her arrest.

According to the new charges filed Thursday, on Jan. 5 a single person dressed in a grey suit, top hat, fake nose, glasses and a mustache entered Scaddy's Restaurant, 5430 S. 900 East in Murray, about 6 p.m. and demanded money at gunpoint before fleeing in a gray four-door vehicle.

Less than 20 minutes later and about a mile away, a Murray police officer spotted someone matching the suspect's description about to enter a Family Dollar store at 6150 S. 1300 East. The individual changed directions upon seeing the officer, fleeing to a gray four-door vehicle parked at 6200 S. 1300 East, yelling at the driver to start the car, the charges state.  

A woman inside the car pointed a "red laser device" at the officer as the suspect on foot turned and fired several shots at the officer, according to the charges. When the car wouldn't start, the duo fled on foot.

Minutes later, a man on his way home received word from his daughter that two people had run into their garage. The man arrived and saw two people inside a parked vehicle in the open garage.

One person, whom he described as a man in his 20s with dark hair, dark eyes and a thin mustache wearing a trench coat, got out and climbed into the passenger side of his vehicle, while a woman with dark eyes and black, shoulder length hair approached him on the driver's side. The woman opened the door and demanded he help them, while the passenger took out a gun, charging documents state.

Police say the man exited and the pair drove off in his vehicle, which was later found at 1400 S. 200 East, near a vehicle and an apartment registered to Simons. The gray vehicle abandoned at the Family Dollar was registered to Chotia-Thompson's mother, who said her daughter had been using the car.

Chotia-Thompson later contacted police, identifying herself as one of those involved in the shooting, the charges state. She remains in Salt Lake County Jail.

The new charges against Chotia-Thompson include: one count of attempted aggravated murder, two counts of aggravated robbery and one count of aggravated burglary, all first-degree felonies. 

Chotia-Thompson was also charged with attempted aggravated robbery, a second-degree felony, attempted theft and tampering with evidence, third-degree felonies. She also faces two class A misdemeanors: attempted failure to respond to an officer and failure to stop at an officer's command.

E-mail: mromero@deseretnews.com

Twitter: McKenzieRomero

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