Salt Lake City robbery suspect expected to accept plea deal
Courts • Sandra Chotia-Thompson could be facing more charges in other heists, prosecutors say.
Published: March 14, 2013 04:16PM
Updated: May 14, 2014 12:43PM
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Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune Sandra Chotia-Thompson appears at the Matheson Courthouse on Thursday. Chotia-Thompson waived her preliminary hearing in connection with an alleged armed robbery at a Salt Lake City grocery store.

A woman accused of robbing a Salt Lake City store last month is expected to accept a plea deal from prosecutors that ultimately could mean less time behind bars.

Sandra Chotia-Thompson waived her right Thursday to a preliminary hearing where prosecutors would have presented evidence to demonstrate probable cause in the Jan. 9 robbery of The Grocery Store, 1224 S. 400 East.

Chotia-Thompson told 3rd District Judge Vernice Trease that she was waiving because negotiations with prosecutors are ongoing, and she expects to enter into a plea agreement that would reduce her charge of first-degree felony aggravated robbery, for which she could face life in prison, to a second-degree felony, which would carry a maximum of 15 years in prison.

Police have said The Grocery Store is one of as many as nine robberies in the Salt Lake Valley dating to mid-December that they have linked to Chotia-Thompson, 40.

Prosecutors expect charges in several other robberies will be filed against Chotia-Thompson in coming weeks. They declined to comment on whether these charges, too, will be folded into a plea agreement.

Chotia-Thompson is accused of committing the crimes with 38-year-old Kelly Fay Simons.

Simons was shot to death Jan. 9 by law enforcement officers near Liberty Park when she allegedly tried to run down a member of the Joint Criminal Apprehension Team with her white pickup.

Chotia-Thompson was arrested hours after the fatal shooting without incident.

She remains in jail in lieu of $500,000 bond.

Family members waved to Chotia-Thompson from the courtroom gallery as she was led out of the courtroom Thursday. They declined to comment.

mlang@sltrib.com

Twitter: marissa_jae