A 20-year-old man pleaded guilty to second-degree theft Friday for his part in the robbery of two people who’d responded to a Craigslist post advertising a car for sale in Tacoma.
Austin Failauga had been charged with two counts of first-degree robbery and first-degree kidnapping, but the case against him and co-defendant Drake Jones unraveled when the victims declined to cooperate with Pierce County prosecutors.
Jones, 21, previously pleaded guilty to second-degree robbery in the case and was sentenced to nine months in jail.
Superior Court Judge Stanley Rumbaugh sentenced Failauga to 60 days in jail, with credit for time served while awaiting resolution of his case. Failauga, who spent nearly four months in jail already, was released.
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Deputy prosecutor Bryce Nelson called Failauga “the least culpable” of the pair.
The robbery happened Feb. 3 after Jones posted an car for sale on Craigslist and then met a woman near South 19th Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Way who saw the ad and was interested in buying the vehicle. She brought her 15-year-old cousin along, court records show.
The woman decided not to buy the car but agreed to show Jones where to get marijuana nearby.
According to charging papers, all three got into the vehicle. Jones picked up Failauga nearby, then pulled out a gun and demanded cellphones and money from the woman and her cousin.
She said she had more cash at her apartment. They drove there, and the men told the woman she had three minutes to bring back $1,000, or they’d shoot the teenager.
Instead, she called 911 from the apartment, and the two men let the boy go when they saw police.
Officers arrested both Failauga and Jones nearby.