Crime

Former Cal Poly football MVP: Robbery plot was a ‘bad decision’

Kristaan Ivory watches defense attorney Chris Casciola talk to Judge Donald G. Umhofer during a hearing in January. Defense attorney for Jacob Brito, Denton Wilson, is seated between them.
Kristaan Ivory watches defense attorney Chris Casciola talk to Judge Donald G. Umhofer during a hearing in January. Defense attorney for Jacob Brito, Denton Wilson, is seated between them. ldickinson@thetribunenews.com

A former Cal Poly football MVP allegedly told detectives that a plot by several players to rob a fraternity was a “bad decision.” But, he said, he initially went along with it because he needed money over the summer.

“Honestly, I don’t like asking my parents for money,” Kristaan Ivory told police, according to a transcript filed in court. “I’ve been trying to be here on my own. Just doing what I can do to make it.”

Ivory was one of five Cal Poly football players charged in the botched armed robbery of the Delta Sigma Phi fraternity house in San Luis Obispo on Aug. 10, 2014. Ivory, a running back who was preparing for his senior season, has pleaded not guilty to a single charge of felony conspiracy.

In a motion filed with San Luis Obispo Superior Court, his attorney argued that Cal Poly’s head coach, Tim Walsh, coerced him to speak to detectives without an attorney. However, the attorney agreed to drop that motion Monday as Ivory prepares to possibly change his plea at a Jan. 6 hearing.

A prosecution motion filed in response to the defense motion offers more details on how the alleged crime occurred. Included with the motion is a transcript of an interview with Ivory and San Luis Obispo Police Department detectives Amy Chastain and Eric Vitale.

I don’t like asking my parents for money. I’ve been trying to be here on my own.

Kristaan Ivory, former Cal Poly football MVP, according to police transcript

According to Ivory, he had been partying the night of the incident with teammates Cameron Akins, 19, Cortland Fort, 21, Jake Brito, 20, and Dominique Love, 20. As the night wore on, parties wound down. As the players began to drive home, the idea to rob the fraternity surfaced.

Ivory said he didn’t know who first suggested the robbery.

“They said we can just — we can just go over there,” he said, later adding, “I guess you can say it was — kinda came up between, I guess, all of us.”

“And you were gonna go take their weed and xanibars?” asked Chastain, referring to marijuana and prescription pills.

“I guess that’s what — that’s what we were goin’ for,” Ivory answered. “I didn’t know exactly what was in there.”

He said they assumed one person at the fraternity would have money. “I guess they said he’s a drug dealer,” Ivory said.

One of the players had “picked up from him before,” Ivory said, though he said he didn’t know which player.

The fraternity was raided by police roughly two weeks after the attempted robbery. Gear McMillan, a former president of the chapter, pleaded no contest to possessing marijuana for sale on Feb. 6 and was sentenced to 60 days in jail.

According to a prosecution motion in McMillan’s case, police found thousands of text messages on McMillan’s phone, most showing that he was dealing marijuana and prescription drugs to people inside and outside of the fraternity.

“Defendant even used a point-of-sale device so students could use their credit cards to purchase drugs,” the motion stated. “Yet their credit card statements would show a ‘school materials’ expense.”

“Did the five of you discuss how it was gonna go down?” Chastain asked.

“No.”

“Did y’all know what was gonna happen?” Vitale asked.

“I didn’t know.”

I just went, ‘There’s too many people.’ I’m like, ‘all right, it’s not a good idea’ and left.

Kristaan Ivory, on the plot to rob the fraternity house

The prosecution alleges that Akins entered the fraternity with a .38-caliber pistol, though the gun was eventually wrestled from him by fraternity members.

Ivory said he never saw the gun.

As they approached the frat house, Ivory said, he had second thoughts because there was a party taking place inside.

“I just went, ‘There’s too many people,’ ” he said. “I’m like, ‘All right, it’s not a good idea’ and left.”

Brito went with him, he said, to a friend’s house. The next morning at football practice, he was summoned by his coaches, first to Walsh’s office, then to the Police Department, where he was interviewed.

When asked what his father, a federal prison guard, would think, Ivory said, “Probably disappointed.”

“What do you think led to this tonight?” Chastain asked.

“Hanging out with the wrong guys,” Ivory said. “I don’t know — and alcohol.”

“None of you need money, right?” Chastain asked. “I mean, you’re all from decent families and you guys have scholarships to school. What would you need money for?”

“I guess just, uh, got a hard summer,” he said, adding that he didn’t want to ask his parents for money. “(I) pay my own rent and stuff and we don’t get any money for summer for football.”

“OK, so you’re hurting for money,” Chastain said.

Ivory replied, “I wouldn’t say hurting, but I guess you can say that.”

Patrick S. Pemberton: 805-781-7903, @ppemberton

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