County seeks life terms for bank robbers

Two Bakersfield men convicted in May of robbing a Citibank in Paso Robles in 2008 should serve sentences that could keep them in prison for the rest of their lives, the county Probation Department recommended Tuesday.

Superior Court Judge Barry LaBarbera is scheduled to rule Monday in the sentencing hearing for 50-year-old Thomas Cameron Kincade and 35-year-old Tino Ortega Simmons.

If LaBarbera decides on life sentences, he would also determine the amount of time before they would be eligible for parole under California’s sentencing guidelines.

Kincade and Simmons were convicted on several felony charges, including second-degree robbery, kidnapping to commit a robbery and false imprisonment. Both men have prior convictions for armed robberies.

The probation report cites evidence from the case that the two men forced the bank manager to remove more than $100,000 from a vault.

They also forced customers to the floor at gunpoint during the robbery. The report states the defendants gave “no consideration to the victims” in the quest for the money.

During the trial, Charles Kelly Kilgore, Simmons’ attorney, cited a lack of fingerprint evidence on motorcycle helmets the men allegedly used to cover their faces and argued that a lack of specific witness identification created reasonable doubt.

Kincade argued cell phone evidence wasn’t adequate to prove his communication with Simmons and that the evidence showed it couldn’t be concluded beyond a reasonable doubt that he was ever at the bank.Investigators found the exact amount of money taken from the bank, $119,500, in Simmons’ home, as well as bandannas with DNA that matched Kincade’s and Simmons’.

Both defendants are expected to present arguments at the sentencing hearing.