In a hearing last week, a Colorado woman accused in a July 2018 Bolivar gas station robbery reached a plea deal on one of four felony charges she faced.
According to online court records, Elena Marie Ornelas, 35, of Pueblo, Colorado, pleaded guilty to class D felony stealing — $750 or more in Polk County Circuit Court Monday, July 8. In accordance with a plea deal, a second charge, class D felony second-degree burglary, was dismissed.
Circuit Judge Michael O’Brien Hendrickson sentenced Ornelas to seven years in prison but suspended execution of that sentence, ordering Ornelas to serve five years supervised probation. She was also ordered to pay $300 to the law enforcement restitution fund.
According to previous BH-FP coverage, Ornelas and three other suspects were indicted by a grand jury in September for stealing merchandise from Bolivar’s Walmart July 13, 2018, prior to robbing Bolivar’s Fast N Friendly East at gunpoint.
The group then allegedly led law enforcement on a high-speed pursuit through Polk and Hickory counties.
Hickory County deputies apprehended Ornelas and another suspect, Brandon Scott Searl, 32, of Colorado Springs, Colorado, after the suspects fled north on Rt. D. in a minivan.
Ornelas’ two other charges — class A felony first-degree robbery and felony armed criminal action — are still pending in Polk County Circuit Court. She is due in court Oct. 7 and was released on her own recognizance following her July 8 appearance, according to the docket.
Ornelas’ plea follows the sentencing of two other suspects in the case, brothers Michael Register, 18, and Robert Register, 20, of Cross Timbers and Warsaw, respectively.
Robert Register was sentenced to 120 days shock incarceration after pleading guilty in Polk County Circuit Court to class A felony first-degree robbery and class D felony stealing on Feb. 4. Hendrickson also sentenced him to 10 years in prison on the robbery charge and five years on the stealing charge. If he successfully completes shock incarceration, he will be eligible for release and supervised probation.
Michael Register was sentenced to seven years in prison for class D felony stealing and 10 years in prison for class A felony first-degree robbery after pleading guilty in a Polk County Courtroom on March 4.
His robbery sentence was suspended by Hendrickson, and he was ordered to serve five years supervised probation following his seven-year sentence in prison.
The final suspect, Searl, is charged with class A felony first-degree robbery, felony armed criminal action, class D felony forgery and class D felony stealing.
Searl’s trial has been rescheduled multiple times and is now set for Oct. 3-4 with Associate Circuit Judge Lisa Carter presiding, according to online court records. Searl remains in custody with a $150,000 bond.
Jessica Franklin Maull contributed to this report.