Suspect in pot-related robbery, murder in Santa Rosa pleads not guilty

SANTA ROSA, Calif. -- A Virginia woman pleaded not guilty Monday in Sonoma County Superior Court to murder, kidnapping and burglary charges for her role in two alleged marijuana-related home robberies in Sonoma County in February.

Amber Hembree, 20, of Richmond, Virginia, also known as "Skittles," three men from the East Coast and one from Santa Rosa are suspected of committing the two home invasion robberies on Feb. 8.

The robberies occurred in the 1900 block of Fulton Road and the 3600 block of Melcon Lane, Sonoma County sheriff's Sgt. Spencer Crum said. The victims of both robberies were tied up and shot, and Jose Luis Torres, 54, a Melcon Lane resident, died of gunshot wounds.

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The suspects' car was found in Vallejo. The four men allegedly tried to escape but the vehicle crashed and they were arrested. Hembree remained at large until last month.

Sheriff's detectives got a no bail warrant for Hembree for murder, robbery and kidnapping, and their investigation led to a home in Chester, Virginia. The U.S. Marshals Service was alerted and allegedly found Hembree hiding in the attic of a home in the 12000 block of Chestertowne Road on June 11, Crum said.

Hembree was allegedly armed with a loaded handgun and was taken into custody without incident. She was booked in the Chesterfield County jail and was extradited to Sonoma County.

Hembree and the other defendants, Tyrone Mccrae, 25, of Jackson, Mississippi, Jonathan Jackson, 19, and David Ealey, 23, both of Richmond, Virginia and Mussie Himed, 28, of Santa Rosa, are scheduled for a preliminary hearing in September.
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