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Four to be tried for string of hotel robberies

OCEANSIDE — A foursome accused of a string of hotel holdups this past spring will have to stand trial on robbery charges relating to the four incidents, a San Diego Superior Court judge ordered Oct. 9.
During a six-day period this past May, prosecutors allege Samuel Edwards, 26; Clayton Matthew Gaunce, 19; Rashun Lavelle Mitchell, 20; and Tiffany Brown, 20, were involved in a string of armed stickups in North County, which included two robberies at the Best Western on Oceanside Boulevard.
Following the Oct. 9 preliminary hearing, Deputy District Attorney Allen Brown said three of the four robberies occurred in Oceanside, the first was at the Holiday Inn Express on Vista Way around 11:30 p.m. May 24, which was followed by the holdup of the aforementioned Best Western around 2:50 a.m. May 25 and 2:30 a.m. May 29. The final robbery happened around midnight May 30 at the Mount Vernon Inn in Escondido.
Allen Brown said one victim testified she recognized Gaunce’s voice, who she knew from dating Mitchell.
All four defendants have been charged with felony robbery counts. Gaunce and Edwards are charged with four robbery counts while Mitchell faces three and Brown two.
Additionally, Allen Brown said all four defendants are charged with the allegation of vicarious use of a firearm, and Edwards is also facing an additional allegation of personally using a gun.
Police found a .45 caliber handgun when they searched an Escondido hotel room registered to Gaunce, which Edwards said he also stayed at.
Allen Brown said authorities testified at least $1,050 was taken during the robberies.
If convicted, the foursome faces up to eight years or more in prison, the prosecutor said.
An arraignment hearing was scheduled for Nov. 10. A trial date may be set at that time.