Half of female robbery duo pleads guilty in robbery, officer-involved shooting

Published: Saturday, March 1 2014 9:52 p.m. MST

SALT LAKE CITY — A woman accused of being half of a female duo involved in a number of robberies pleaded guilty to charges stemming from an officer-involved shooting incident in Murray.

Sandra Chotia-Thompson, 41, pleaded guilty to attempted aggravated murder and aggravated robbery, first-degree felonies, in 3rd District Court Thursday in connection with a Jan. 5 robbery at a Scaddy's restaurant at 5430 S. 900 East. Chotia-Thompson and her alleged accomplice, Kelly Fay Simons, 38, were believed to be responsible for a series of armed robberies around Salt Lake County.

Following the robbery at Scadddy's, one of the women was spotted by a Murray police officer, who chased her on foot. As the woman reached a waiting vehicle, she fired several shots at the officer before driving off.

The officer returned fire. No one was injured.

Simons was shot and killed Jan. 9 while trying to flee from police. Chotia-Thompson was arrested that same evening — less than 11 hours later — after she allegedly robbed a cashier at the Grocery Store, 1224 S. 400 East, at gunpoint.

Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill found Simons' death was justified in a letter to Salt Lake Police Chief Chris Burbank. He wrote that a South Salt Lake police officer was told that the suspects they were seeking in connection with a number of robberies, including the one at Scaddy's, 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."

In exchange for Chotia-Thompson's plea, charges of aggravated robbery and aggravated burglary, first-degree felonies; aggravated robbery, a second-degree felony; attempted theft and tampering with evidence, third-degree felonies; and failure to stop at command of police and failure to stop at command of law enforcement, class A misdemeanors, stemming from the Jan. 5 incident were dismissed. A single charge of aggravated robbery, a first-degree felony, for the Jan. 9 robbery at the Grocery Store, was also dismissed in exchange for her plea.

Sentencing has been set for April 17.

Email: emorgan@deseretnews.com, Twitter: DNewsCrimeTeam

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