Roman’s conviction was for violent crimes committed during a home invasion robbery in rural San Luis Obispo 

SAN LUIS OBISPO — San Luis Obispo District Attorney Dan Dow announced on Tuesday, Nov. 16, that Johnny Jesse Roman (39) was sentenced to 25 years to life for his conviction for violent crimes committed during a home invasion robbery in rural San Luis Obispo in February 2021.

The defendant’s convictions and sentence resulted from a Feb. 13 incident where Roman forced entry into an elderly victim’s residence, tied the victim up, and stole thousands of dollars in cash from within the residence and a vehicle parked outside. 

After Roman fled the scene, the victim remained restrained in her residence for several hours until she was found by a family member. Roman then fled California and was arrested in Virginia in March 2021, after which he was extradited and returned to San Luis Obispo County.

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On Oct. 19, Johnny Jesse Roman Jr. (DOB Jun. 27, 1982) pleaded no contest to all charges against him, including one count of Residential Burglary, one count of First-Degree Residential Robbery, and one count of Grand Theft Automobile. 

Roman’s crimes were committed against a 75-year-old woman residing in a rural portion of San Luis Obispo within the jurisdiction of the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff. Roman also admitted that he was previously convicted of two violent felonies under California’s Three Strikes Law. These prior convictions were: Residential Burglary in 2005 and Robbery in 2006. His plea to the current crimes and his admission of the prior “strike” convictions subjected him to a maximum sentence of 41 years to life in prison.

On Tuesday, the assigned prosecutor and the Probation Department, in its sentencing report, advocated for the Judge to impose the maximum sentence because of the violence perpetrated against the elderly woman and the similarity of Roman’s prior violent offense convictions. 

There was no plea agreement between the defendant and the District Attorney’s Office. Instead, the defendant pleaded no contest to all charges in hopes of receiving leniency from Judge Jesse J. Marino. Judge Marino exercised his discretion to provide a lesser sentence by striking the additional 16 years in prison that was allowed under California law for these convictions.

“Violent crimes committed by career criminals against vulnerable victims deserve especially strong sentences,” said District Attorney Dan Dow. “Our office takes seriously the obligation to protect our community through aggressive and fair prosecution of crime while protecting the rights of crime victims. We will continue to advocate for strong sentences in cases like this in order to prevent future crimes by a particular defendant and to deter others from committing similar crimes.”

The case was investigated by the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office with the assistance of the District Attorney’s Office Bureau of Investigation and was prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney James Graff-Radford.