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Man gets 6 years in prison for role in Tucson home invasion
[July 27, 2009]

Man gets 6 years in prison for role in Tucson home invasion

Jul 27, 2009 (The Arizona Daily Star - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- A former TUSD custodian was sentenced to six years in prison Monday for his part in a home invasion in October 2007.

Bobby Ramirez Ortiz, 40, pleaded guilty to armed robbery last month and was facing anywhere between four and 10 years in prison.

Ortiz was one of two men who went to a home in the 4100 block of South Bantry Lane and demanded money and jewelry from the couple living there.

During the invasion, one of the men was holding a gun to a woman's head. When her husband tried to intervene, he was hit in the face with the gun, which knocked out a tooth. The intruders left the home with various items, including jewelry.

Six months later, the woman was at a fast-food restaurant when she heard the voice of one of the men who committed the robbery. She confronted him and told him that he was wearing one of her necklaces, at which time he covered it and walked out.

When sheriff's deputies went to the restaurant, they learned one of the employees knew where the man worked -- Cavett Elementary School.

The man was identified as Ortiz and DNA tests later linked him to the crime.

Defense attorney Stephen Ralls wrote a sentencing memorandum asking Pima County Superior Court Judge Charles Sabalos for leniency for his client.

Ralls told the judge the incident "was not an accurate representation" of Ortiz's character.

Ortiz spent 18 years working for the school district, supporting his wife and their three children, Ralls said. In addition, Ortiz always took time to take his wife's elderly aunt to her medical appointments, out to eat and shopping.

Ortiz was fired from his job and it's impact has been "catastrophic" for him, Ralls said.

A minimum sentence would be "more than sufficient" to deter Ortiz from any future criminal acts, Ralls said.

"The deterrent effect of being separated from his family, losing his lifelong employment and essentially starting his life over cannot be overstated," Ralls wrote.

Contact reporter Kim Smith at 573-4241 or To see more of The Arizona Daily Star, or to subscribe to the newspaper, go to Copyright (c) 2009, The Arizona Daily Star, Tucson Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services. For reprints, email, call 800-374-7985 or 847-635-6550, send a fax to 847-635-6968, or write to The Permissions Group Inc., 1247 Milwaukee Ave., Suite 303, Glenview, IL 60025, USA.

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