Cases of armed robbery, human smuggling suspects transferred
The cases of a 31-year-old man who allegedly robbed a Yuma convenience store and a woman suspected of being involved in a large-scale human smuggling operation have both been transferred to another judge while they are being resolved.
During separate and brief hearings in Yuma County Superior Court, Judge David Haws ordered the cases of Tariye Shanklin and Iris Hernandez be sent to Superior Court Judge Maria Elena Cruz to oversee and manage until a plea agreement is reached or the case is ready to go to trial.
At that point, the cases will be returned to Haws, who will preside over any change of plea hearings or trials. He will also do the sentencing in each of the cases.
To alleviate some of its caseload issues, the Yuma County Superior Court has begun using some of its judges as “discovery masters” as part of a case-management procedure. Doing so helps the court clear many less complicated cases from its docket.
At about 8:37 p.m. on April 10, Shanklin, who has been charged with a felony count of armed robbery and misdemeanor counts of theft and assault, allegedly entered the Circle K at 24th Street and 8th Avenue, and demanded money from the clerk while brandishing a straight-edge razor.
After fleeing the scene with an undisclosed sum, Shanklin was caught at 9:53 p.m. near 32nd Street and Avenue B. He still had the razor in his possession, according to court records.
Shanklin was also facing charges in an unrelated case in which he allegedly assaulted a Yuma hotel manager earlier the same day. The two cases were combined into a single case.
According to court records, in the unrelated incident, Shanklin allegedly threw a rock at the manager of the Wyndham Hotel, 1760 S. Sunridge Drive, at about 4:53 p.m. after the manager asked him to leave the premises.
In the other case, Hernandez, who has been charged with one count of participating in a human smuggling operation, was one of five people arrested in early June as part of a suspected human smuggling ring operating in the Yuma area.
According to Yuma police, at about 10 the night of the incident, a suspect was arrested in the 1100 block of 16th Street after he was found hiding near the railroad tracks in the area with two illegal entrants.
Hernandez and two others were found at different locations throughout the same area and had been using their cell phones to communicate with that suspect, possibly providing him with instructions and giving directions.
James Gilbert can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 539-6854. Find him on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/YSJamesGilbert or on Twitter @YSJamesGilbert.