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A would-be bandit who was foiled in his attempt to rob a medical-marijuana dispensary in Laguna Niguel but managed to get off two shots from his handgun that missed the owner was sentenced Friday to 54 years to life in state prison.
Arsenio Lamonte Collins, 21, of Los Angeles, had been convicted by a jury of the 2008 crime in October. Three of Collins' four partners, who were shut out of the shop when the owner locked the front door, previously pleaded guilty; each got seven years in prison. The fourth dude is still out there.
The Orange County district attorney's office's statement on the latest conviction follows:
February 4, 2011
MAN SENTENCED TO 54 YEARS TO LIFE IN PRISON FOR ATTEMPTED MURDER OF MARIJUANA DISPENSARY OWNER DURING ARMED ROBBERY
FULLERTON - A man was sentenced today to 54 years to life in state prison for attempting to murder the owner of a marijuana dispensary during an armed robbery. Arsenio Lamonte Collins, 21, Los Angeles, was convicted by a jury Oct. 4, 2010, of two felony counts of attempted murder with premeditation and deliberation, two felony counts of attempted robbery, and two felony counts of assault with a firearm with a sentencing enhancement for the personal and intentional discharge of a firearm.
Co-defendants Miles York, 21, and Michael Munroe, 22, both of Laguna Niguel, pleaded guilty May 27, 2009, to two felony counts of attempted murder and two felony counts of second degree attempted robbery. Dennis Chaisson, 22, Los Angeles, pleaded guilty May 13, 2010, to two felony counts of attempted murder and one felony count of second degree attempted robbery. All three defendants were sentenced to seven years in state prison. A fourth co-defendant is as-of-yet unidentified.
In September 2008, Collins and his four co-defendants plotted to rob a medical marijuana dispensary in Laguna Niguel. When Collins and his co-defendants arrived at the dispensary, the suspicious owner allowed Collins to enter the store and then quickly locked the door to prevent the others from entering. The co-defendants remained outside.
Once inside, Collins pulled out a firearm, pointed it at the owner and two employees, and announced, "This is a robbery." The dispensary owner began to struggle with Collins, who fired his firearm twice in an effort to shoot the victim. Both shots went through a window and no one was hit.
Collins attempted to fire his weapon several more times as he fought with the victim, but the firearm failed to discharge and the employees were able to pry it away from the defendant. Collins was arrested at the scene.
The three co-defendants were subsequently arrested and the fourth suspect remains unidentified. Anyone with information regarding the identity and whereabouts of the outstanding defendant is encouraged to contact Supervising District Attorney Investigator Jaime Joyce at (714) 834-5649.
Deputy District Attorney Mena Guirguis of the Felony Panel prosecuted this case.