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Man charged in robbery scheme at Colusa Casino

If you can’t trust your alleged co-conspirator in a strong-armed robbery not to stiff you of the goods after the deed is done, then who can you trust?

Jillian Beeman

A bench warrant in the amount of $50,000 has been issued for the arrest of Jillian Lynn Beeman, 36, of Lake County, who allegedly orchestrated a robbery of a man having a good gambling run at the Colusa Casino, but then didn’t get a cut of the ill gotten gain.

A preliminary hearing was held Monday, May 3, for her accused co-conspirator, Nicholas Michael Neuman, 42, of Lucerne, who is charged with second degree robbery and conspiracy to commit a crime in connection to the Dec. 17, 2020, robbery of a Lake County man who was staying at the Colusa Casino Resort and Hotel.

Nicholas Neuman

Neither Neuman nor Beeman are strangers to the criminal justice system. Both were previously arrested in Lake County on substance abuse charges, and Beeman was arrested in 2018 on charges alleging grand theft, possession of stolen property, and driving a vehicle without the driver’s permission.

The Colusa County District Attorney charged Beeman with second degree robbery and conspiracy to commit a crime, but a warrant for her arrest was issued when she failed to appear in court after her arraignment.

Charges against a third man, Anthony John Montanaro, 53, of Lucerne, who was reportedly the getaway driver after the robbery, were dismissed Monday after Judge Jeffrey A. Thompson found there was insufficient evidence to connect Montanaro to the planning and execution of the robbery that occurred inside the first floor hotel room belonging to the victim.

According to testimony at the preliminary hearing of the two men accused in the scheme, Colusa County Sheriff Sgt. Matt Purcell said Beeman can be seen on surveillance footage at the casino cozying up to the victim as he gambled, and that the victim even gave the attractive 36-year-old Beeman, who said her name was Carissa, money to play before he invited her to his room.

Surveillance of the hotel hallway showed Beeman opened the door of the hotel room about 20 minutes later, let Neuman inside, and then darted down the hall and out the front entrance to Montanaro’s waiting vehicle, Purcell testified.

Montanaro told Purcell, after the investigation led the Colusa County Sheriff’s Office to the three suspects, that he was not privy to the planning of the robbery, but only learned about it on the way home after Beeman and Neuman argued about the amount of money taken from the victim, which Neuman claimed was just a few hundred dollars.

According to Purcell, the victim claimed Neuman entered the room fully masked, cornered him with a small knife and pepper spray, and robbed him of more than $2,000 on threat that Neuman knew where the victim lived and that he would kill him and his family if he called the cops.

Neuman can then be seen on surveillance exiting the room and the hotel and leaving with Beeman in Montanaro’s vehicle, Purcell said. Also, a search warrant later served in Lake County recovered a knife matching the description of the knife described by the victim.

Purcell said that during the investigation, Neuman admitted to the robbery and said that “the bitch” came up with the idea because she knew the victim had won quite a bit of money, although Neuman’s attorney raised the issue of whether his client had been read his Miranda rights at the time of the admission.

Following the preliminary hearing, Judge Thompson ruled there was sufficient evidence for Neuman to be bound over for trial on the robbery and conspiracy charges.

Thompson ruled there was insufficient evidence to prove Montanaro was in on the scheme, because surveillance footage does not put the three together in conversation on the casino floor, but only Neuman and Beeman.

Neuman is scheduled to appear in Colusa County Superior Court on May 17 to enter a plea on the charges.

Beeman is still a fugitive at large. §

 

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