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Robber who fired shots at police officers pleads guilty

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Monday, Nov. 19, 2012, at 2:31 p.m.

A Wichita man has pleaded guilty in federal court to committing a robbery and shooting at police as he attempted to escape earlier this year, authorities said.

Paul F. Sifuentez, 55, pleaded guilty to one count of robbery, one count of brandishing a firearm during a robbery, one count of discharging a firearm during a crime of violence and one count of unlawful possession of a firearm after a felony conviction, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said in a prepared statement.

In his plea, Sifuentez admitted that he robbed the Kentucky Fried Chicken at 1251 S. Woodlawn on June 7. He threatened employees with a firearm during the robbery, then fled the store in a car driven by co-defendant James L. Adamson, Grissom said. The getaway car had a personalized tag that read “SAVOY.”

Two police officers caught up with the robbers a few blocks from the restaurant and turned in behind them as Adamson pulled into a parking lot at the Woodlawn Baptist Church, 960 S. Woodlawn, Grissom said. As one of the officers got out of the patrol car, Sifuentez leaned out of his window and pointed a handgun at her.

He fired three shots, shattering the glass on the officer’s car door, before the robbers drove away. The getaway car was abandoned at the Governeour Manor Apartment complex at 7025 E. Lincoln, Grissom said.

Sifuentez was arrested after he was found hiding at the apartment complex. Police officials said he tried to blend in with a crowd at the complex’s swimming pool. Adamson was arrested later when he returned to his home in the 4400 block of East Boston.

Sifuentez is scheduled to be sentenced Feb. 17. Prosecutors have agreed to recommend a sentence of 25 years in federal prison, Grissom said.

Adamson, 49, pleaded guilty to one count of aiding and abetting a robbery. He is slated for sentencing Jan. 30. He faces a maximum penalty of 20 years and a fine up to $250,000.

Reach Stan Finger at 316-268-6437 or sfinger@wichitaeagle.com.

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