|For Immediate Release
Case # 04WF0551 & 05CF3682
April 10, 2008
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Public Affairs Counsel
MAN TO BE SENTENCED FOR CRIME SPREE AS A
16-YEAR-OLD FOR STEALING FIREARMS FOR
GANG MEMBERS AND CARJACKING AND
KIDNAPPING FOREIGN STUDENT
SANTA ANA – A man be will sentenced tomorrow for a series of crimes he committed as a teen including stealing firearms to trade for drugs with gang members and kidnapping a foreign student to steal his car. Robert James Goliath, 21, Irvine, pleaded guilty on May 14, 2007 to felonies for kidnapping, kidnapping to commit robbery, kidnapping during the commission of a carjacking, eight counts of the theft of a firearm, second degree robbery, carjacking, second degree vehicle burglary, the attempted unlawful taking of a vehicle, possession of a controlled substance, possession of contraband in a correctional facility, and misdemeanors for the possession of burglary tools and destroying jail property. Goliath also admitted that the sentencing enhancement for the personal use of a deadly weapon was true. He faces a maximum sentence of life in prison at his sentencing tomorrow, Friday, April 11, 2008 at 1:30 p.m. in Department C-39, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.
On September 18, 2003, Goliath, then 16 years old, ran away from home after stealing four firearms from a locked gun case in his father’s Irvine house. In the afternoon of September 23, 2003, Goliath returned with an accomplice to his father’s house while his father was at work and his elderly grandmother was home alone. While the accomplice distracted Goliath’s grandmother with conversation at the front door, Goliath broke into the home and stole four additional firearms. He traded the stolen firearms with Latino criminal street gang members in exchange for narcotics and to gain their favor.
On October 17, 2003, Goliath approached Philip Kurniawan, a foreign student studying in America from Indonesia, at approximately 2:45 a.m. at a gas station on Beach Boulevard in Stanton. The victim had stopped to buy a pack of cigarettes on his way home from work. Goliath began to make conversation with the victim and then pulled out a knife and warned Kurniawan that his friend, Fidel Sanchez, was sitting in a nearby car with a gun. Fearing for his life, the victim cooperated as Goliath ordered him to get into his own vehicle with the defendant. While Goliath drove the victim’s car, followed by Sanchez in another car, Goliath ordered the victim to give him his wallet, watch, and cell phone. He then ordered the victim to remove his clothing, bound the victim’s wrists and mouth with electrical tape, and forced him in to the trunk of his own car wearing only his underwear.
Goliath and Sanchez drove the victim’s stolen car for the rest of the morning with the victim in the trunk, and eventually picked up a female friend, Heather Cumpian. The defendants used the victim’s debit card to withdraw money from the victim’s bank account and made purchases at a convenience store and gas station. Despite Goliath’s instructions to just let the victim die, Sanchez eventually removed the tape from Kurniawan’s mouth and gave him food and water in the trunk. The defendants then drove to a motel, left the victim in the trunk, and went into a motel room.
At approximately 9:00 a.m., Kurniawan, who had fallen asleep, woke up in the trunk of the parked car. The car was hot from being in direct sunlight and the victim was having difficulty breathing. The victim was able to open the trunk form the inside and fled through the parking lot in only his underwear with his wrists still bound. A witness called 9-1-1. Prior to police arriving, Goliath and Sanchez realized the victim had escaped and fled the scene in his stolen car. The car, but not the defendants, was later located by the California Highway Patrol after having been involved in a hit and run crash.