On January 21, 2021, at approximately 8:30pm, Coalinga Police officers responded to El Rancho and SR 33 on a report of an armed robbery. The victim in this case had obtained a ride into Coalinga from I-5 and Hwy 198, from 29-year-old, San Jose resident, Michael Atwell and his girlfriend 26-year-old, San Jose resident Ashley Brown.
Once they arrived at the intersection of El Rancho and SR 33 Atwell pulled the car over and told the victim to get out and leave his stuff in the car. When the victim refused, both Atwell and Brown puled a firearm out and forced the victim out of the vehicle.
During the investigation officers were able to locate the suspects at Motel 6 at I-5 and HWY 198. Both subjects were taken into custody and the firearms were located at the motel. Both Atwell and Brown were arrested and have been in the Fresno County Jail pending court.
On Friday September 24, 2021, Michael Atwell was found guilty and was sentenced to 26 years and 4 months in state prison. Ashley Brown took a deal and was sentenced to 26 years in state prison.