Santa Rosa, CA – December 12, 2018 – Defendant Kawanza Houston, 43 years old of Santa Rosa, was sentenced Wednesday by the Honorable Christopher Honigsberg to 27 years in state prison after having pled no contest in October of this year to two felony charges of robbery, and admitting an allegation that he used a firearm during the commission of the crimes. Houston also admitted that he had a prior strike conviction for a robbery that he committed in 2005.
District Attorney Ravitch stated, “This defendant has a history of similar conduct and his behavior continues to be extremely violent. This lengthy sentence will provide the community with protection against him for a significant period.”
The charges resulted from an incident on March 8, 2018, when Houston entered a convenience store attached to a Santa Rosa gas station at approximately 8:30 a.m. Houston immediately pulled out a handgun that he aimed at two employees while demanding cash from the registers. An image from the surveillance video was released to the public and with the assistance of an anonymous reporting party, SRPD was able to identify Houston as the perpetrator. When SRPD officers apprehended Houston later in the day he was still in possession of the same firearm, batting gloves, and a baseball hat that he used during the robbery. A forensic analysis of Houston’s cell phone placed him near the scene shortly before and after the robbery.
The case was prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Matthew Henning, and the Santa Rosa Police Department headed the investigation.