Man Pleads No Contest in Burglaries at Celebrities' Houses

Law theme. Judge chamber.

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LOS ANGELES (CNS) - A Los Angeles man pleaded no contest today to burglaries at houses belonging to singer Rihanna and former Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig, along with two other burglaries within less than a month in 2018.

Tyress Williams, now 22, was among 31 people indicted in 2019 in connection with a series of burglaries -- some of which targeted the homes of celebrities and others that targeted elderly and Asian victims.

Williams had been set to go on trial before he pleaded no contest to two counts of first-degree residential burglary involving a Sept. 25, 2018, break-in at a house belonging to Rihanna and a burglary a week earlier at Puig's Encino home.

He also pleaded no contest to one count of first-degree burglary with a person present involving an Aug. 29, 2018, break-in at a home in Granada Hills, and to one count of second-degree commercial burglary involving a Beverly Hills business on Sept. 12, 2018.

Williams is facing nine years and four months in state prison, with sentencing set Oct. 7 in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom.

At a December 2018 hearing before the series of grand jury indictments were returned, Los Angeles Police Department Detective Mel Vergara testified that Williams admitted in a September 2018 interview that he was involved in the burglaries at the two celebrities' houses.

Williams allegedly said that Puig's residence was targeted because he was “stupid'' and was “putting out basically his activities on social media,'' the police detective testified then.

“He's done some bad things. He's done some really good things as well,'' Williams' attorney, Jonathan Mandel, told Superior Court Judge Stephen A. Marcus, noting that his client had been in at least 40 foster homes but had still done well in school and written “several beautiful poems.''

Deputy District Attorney Heather Steggell noted that Williams was 19 at the time of the crimes and had no prior criminal record.

Williams has remained behind bars since his Sept. 28, 2018, arrest by the LAPD's Metropolitan Division, jail records show.

His plea marks the latest from 23 defendants charged in the grand jury indictments -- all of whom have been sentenced to state prison.

The first defendant to go on trial, Ron Simmons, was sentenced to a potential life prison term after being convicted in 2019 of charges including torture, mayhem, conspiracy, residential robbery and first-degree burglary with a person present.

Six other people are still awaiting trial. The case against one other man was dismissed, court records show.

Copyright 2021, City News Service, Inc.

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