They robbed an East Bay family. Their mothers are pleading for mercy | #College. | #Students

Two young men sat in a Martinez courtroom Tuesday, eyes cast downward as a clerk read the verdict that would shape the rest of their lives.

Azrael Vargas, 20, was found guilty on five counts and four special allegations, for carrying out a home invasion robbery with a semi-automatic pistol, among other crimes, on Nov. 3, 2019. Emarieay Prescott, 22, was found guilty of first-degree burglary and conspiracy, with one gun enhancement. Their mothers sat in the back of the room, one quietly sobbing, the other staring straight ahead.

Vargas faces up to 31 years in state prison, according to prosecutor Christopher Sansoe, while Prescott could serve a maximum of 16 years. Initially, there were four defendants facing seven counts, but two agreed to plead guilty to home invasion robbery and testify against their accomplices. Only Prescott and Vargas went to trial.

Their case drew attention from two city council members and multiple grassroots groups in Contra Costa County, and from parents in the Mission District, where Vargas’ mother is a well-liked public school teacher. Several people demonstrated outside the office of District Attorney Diana Becton throughout the trial, holding signs with such slogans as “Care not cuffs,” and “Atonement, not enhancements.”

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