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Salt Lake City robbery suspect faces nine more charges

Published April 5, 2013 12:53 pm

Courts • Sandra Chotia-Thompson now charged with attempted murder.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

A 40-year-old woman accused of robbing a Salt Lake City convenience store in January was charged Wednesday with nine additional crimes, including attempted aggravated murder.

Sandra Chotia-Thompson, who was arrested hours after her alleged partner in crime was shot dead by police, has long been suspected of committing several robberies in the Salt Lake Valley dating back to mid-December.

But after her January arrest, Chotia-Thompson was charged only with first-degree felony aggravated robbery in the Jan. 9 robbery of The Grocery Store, 1224 S. 400 East. She is expected to enter a plea deal on that charge that would spare her a life sentence in the state prison.

But that plea deal does not address these most recent charges, prosecutors have said. Negotiations are ongoing.

According to court documents, Chotia-Thompson and 38-year-old Kelly Fay Simons were involved in a string of crimes that include holding up Scaddy's Resaturant, 5430 S. 900 East, stealing vehicles, fleeing from police and shooting at a Murray police officer.

A restaurant employee told officers that about 6 p.m. on Jan. 5, Scaddy's Restaurant was robbed at gunpoint. The robber left in a gray sedan, which was later linked to Chotia-Thompson, the documents state.

Less than half an hour later, a Murray police officer spotted a car that matched the description less than a mile from Scaddy's. A person matching the suspect's description was heading into a Family Dollar Store, near 6200 South and 1300 East, when the person saw the officer. The suspect ran toward a gray four-door car parked nearby, shouting at the driver to start the car.

The officer reported a woman was in the driver seat. The woman pointed a red laser device at the officer as her partner turned and fired several times at the officer.

Moments later, the same suspects were seen entering a private garage through the open door. The owner of that residence, at 6243 S. 1280 East, said one of the individuals pointed a gun at him and demanded his help. He surrendered his vehicle to the pair.

Early reports suggested that a man and woman were committing the crimes. But authorities said Simons had dressed as a man — wearing a moustache, trench coat and top hat — to disguise herself.

Simons was shot to death Jan. 9 by officers in the Joint Criminal Apprehension Team near Liberty Park when she allegedly tried to run down one of the officers 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.

She now faces a total of 10 charges: first-degree felony attempted aggravated murder, aggravated burglary and three counts of aggravated robbery, second-degree felony attempted aggravated robbery, third-degree felony attempted theft and tampering with evidence, and misdemeanor failure to respond to an officer and failure to stop at an officer's command.

Chotia-Thompson is scheduled to appear in 3rd District Court next Friday before Judge Katie Bernards-Goodman.

mlang@sltrib.com

Twitter: marissa_jae