Three men plead no contest to strong-arm robberies

Three men charged with two strong-arm robberies of Cal Poly students in January entered no contest pleas to robbery and grand theft Tuesday.

Steven Randy Medina, 23, of Arroyo Grande, along with Alejandro Ambriz, 23, and Moses Isaac Peralta, 22 – both of Tulare – are expected to spend a year in County Jail based on their pleas.

Battery charges against the men were dropped as part of the agreement reached between Deputy District Attorney Jesse Marino and the three lawyers representing the defendants.

The effect of a no contest plea is similar to a guilty plea and results in a conviction without an admission of guilt.

The trio is scheduled to be sentenced on April 27 in Judge Michael Duffy’s courtroom.

Police arrested the men in the early morning hours of Jan. 16 on suspicion of beating and robbing two Cal Poly students in separate incidents between 2 and 2:30 a.m. that night, according to a San Luis Obispo Police Department report.

Each of the men acknowledged in court to Duffy that they understood the consequences of their pleas and willingly agreed to comply. None had a prior criminal record, according to the District Attorney’s Office.

--Nick Wilson