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Mother, son burglary team sent to slammer

• Duo sentenced to state prison for more than a decade

Posted: June 18, 2008 1:22 a.m.
Updated: August 19, 2008 5:02 a.m.

More than six months after they were convicted in a San Fernando courtroom for breaking into a Canyon Country home, mother-son duo Cynthia Brandon and Michael Lugo were formally sentenced Tuesday morning, court officials announced.

Lugo, a Palmdale resident who was found guilty of two counts of burglary, one count of receipt of stolen property and one count of conspiracy, was sentenced to 10 years and 8 months in state prison, according to the court clerk.

His mother, Brandon, a Pacoima resident who was tried simultaneously with Lugo, was sentenced to serve 13 years, 8 months. She was found guilty of one count of burglary and one count each of receipt of stolen property and conspiracy.

The pair appeared in San Fernando Superior Court Tuesday morning in front of Judge Harvey Giss, who presided over a trial which resulted in their conviction on Dec. 12, 2007.

Defense attorneys for Lugo and Brandon appealed the sentence moments after it was announced, though a new set of attorneys will represent the mother-son duo during the appeals process.

"We filed notice of appeal today," said defense attorney Rayford Fountain, who
represented Brandon. "It will go through the appellate process and a new appellate attorney will be appointed. I am no longer involved with this case."

The convictions were connected to an incident on Canvas Street in Canyon Country on Oct. 18, 2006, during which Lugo, 30, was shot by homeowner Nadine Teter. After trying to enter her front door, Lugo scaled a wall and entered her backyard. Fearing that he might try to attack her, she confronted him in the yard and shot him three times with a .38 caliber pistol.

After being wounded in the leg and abdomen, Lugo fled to the street, where his 52-year-old mother was waiting in a car filled with stolen property. The two sped off and flagged down sheriff's deputies in order to get help with Lugo's injuries, but deputies quickly connected them to the incident at Teter's house and arrested them on suspicion of burglary.

"This is proof that the system works and that justice was served," said Teter.


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