Jail time, probation for men in casino parking lot assault
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By Dave Williams  June 27, 2014 12:00 am

One of the two defendants in an assault that happened at the Graton Resort and Casino outside Rohnert Park on Christmas Eve was sentenced on June 19 to eight months in jail and three years formal probation.

Ricardo Davalos, 22, of Santa Rosa, pled guilty to felony assault and got the jail time and probation. 

The other defendant, Devante Raush Love, 21, of Santa Rosa, was given probation, over the objection of the District Attorney’s Office. Jamie Thistlethwaite was the presiding judge.

“This callous assault on a senior, who was left unconscious and with lasting injuries, cried out for justice and we’re pleased those responsible were apprehended and held accountable,” District Attorney Jill Ravitch said. “Consistent with his selfless service to this country during a 30-year military career, the notable victim in this case focused in his remarks at sentencing on encouraging the defendants to turn their lives around.”

The charges in this case resulted from an attack and robbery of a 68-year-old man at approximately 5:30 a.m. on Dec. 24, 2013, in the parking lot of the casino.

The victim was standing alone at the trunk of his vehicle when Love and Davalos approached him from behind, assaulted him, and stole his wallet, leaving him unconscious on the ground after the robbery. 

 The attack had been planned by Love, who was the first to approach the victim in the parking lot and demanded all of his money while pretending to have a gun. 

 Later that day, Love, who worked as a chef at the MY China restaurant inside the Graton Casino, called in sick to work and changed his cell phone number in an attempt to avoid apprehension for the robbery.  

After an extended investigation, Sonoma County Sheriff’s Detectives identified and apprehended the two defendants.  Davalos was the first defendant to be contacted, was cooperative with the authorities and assisted the officers in locating Love, who had been hiding out at his girlfriend’s home.

The elder victim in this case, a Vietnam veteran who had served in the United States Army for 30 years as a nurse specializing in combat medicine, was left with lasting memory and balance issues as a result of the attack.  He spoke at the sentencing hearing and encouraged the defendants to make every effort to turn their lives around. 

The victim told the defendants that he felt sorry for them, noting that the defendants had made a horrible and stupid decision to assault and rob him.

At sentencing, the DA office argued that Love’s leadership role, behavior following the crime and prior history warranted the maximum prison sentence of six years that was recommended by the Sonoma County Probation Department.  Judge Thistlethwaite acknowledged that Love’s behavior was extremely serious and sentenced Love to the maximum of six years in prison, but suspended the prison sentence and placed Love on formal probation for a term of four years.  

The judge also ordered Love to serve one year in jail as a condition of Love’s probation. Thistlethwaite, citing Love’s youth, advised Love that she was willing to give him one opportunity on probation, but added that a violation of probation would result in the imposition of the six year prison sentence.

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