SAN DIEGO (CNS) – A man was sentenced Monday to nearly 20 years in prison for a financially motivated attack on a La Jolla resident who was tied up and beaten in his garage.
Robert Whitaker, 59, pleaded guilty earlier this year to kidnapping, burglary and assault with a deadly weapon charges stemming from the June 12, 2019, attack, which prosecutors said was committed in an attempt to get money from the victim. Other charges, including a torture count, were dismissed as a result of his plea.
According to testimony from Whitaker’s 2019 preliminary hearing, the defendant was living with a woman who was the victim’s next-door neighbor on Mar Avenue.
Deputy District Attorney Kristie Nikoletich said Whitaker — who worked as a construction contractor — was in dire financial straits and was invited into the victim’s home under the guise of inspecting the residence.
The prosecutor said Whitaker forced the victim into his garage, where he bound the man’s wrists and struck the resident about the head and face around 30 times using his fists and a wooden club while demanding money and valuables, though no money was ever obtained.
Whitaker was arrested later that day.
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