Murder suspect Lucero appears in court

Union Democrat staff /

A Twain Harte woman accused of murdering Sonora's Ricky Roberts made a second court appearance Wednesday.

Cheryl Lynn Lucero, 45, was set to be arraigned in Tuolumne County Superior Court at 2:45 p.m. However, the hearing was continued and she didn't enter a plea.

Lucero, who's held at the Tuolumne County Jail on $1 million bail, is due back in court at 1:30 p.m. July 30.

Roberts' widow, Teddi Roberts, his mother, Donna Burkey, and many others were seated behind the prosecution at the hearing.

Lucero was brought into the courtroom through the back door for security reasons, her attorney Clay Bedford said.

Lucero was taken back to the Tuolumne County Jail after her court appearance.

Tuolumne County District Attorney Mike Knowles said Lucero is still charged with an open count of murder, meaning the degree has not yet been determined.

She also faces an enhancement for allegedly using a firearm in the commission of the crime.

If found guilty of both charges, Lucero faces 50 years to life in prison, Knowles said.

Sonora police arrested Lucero on June 18 after interviewing her.

Police Chief Mark Stinson said she confessed to involvement in the killing.

Roberts was shot to death on the morning of Feb. 16 in an auto shop he rented near his home on Mono Way, near Barretta Street.

He was found lying on the ground by a person he was scheduled to meet about renting space in the building, police said.

Roberts was fairly well known in the community, both as a Sonora Police Department volunteer and as a regular competitor in area demolition derbies.

The Roberts' slaying is the city's first homicide in a decade.

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The Union Democrat
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