Richmond man gets 27 years in prison for terrorizing Brentwood family

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A Richmond man who terrorized a Brentwood family was sentenced to 27 years in state prison on Friday, according to the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office.

Back in 2014, Paul Simmons (Muscat) of Richmond was convicted of assault with a firearm after shooting and injuring a man the previous year in Livermore. Five years later during the early morning hours of Sept. 17, 2018, Simmons robbed the same victim’s wife at gunpoint at their home in Brentwood, prosecutors said. That morning, the victim woke up in her home with her two young daughters and noticed someone in her bathroom behind a curtain that wasn’t her husband. At the time, Simmons was wearing a mask and was armed with a handgun he stole from the victim’s closet, prosecutors said. At gunpoint, he directed the victim downstairs, but she escaped from him and went up to her bedroom with her children to hide in a closet.

Simmons fled the home with items including three of her husband’s firearms, an Apple Watch, Beats headphones, car keys and ammunition, according to prosecutors.

Livermore police arrested Simmons five days later while he was in a Rite Aid, reportedly casing the store while wearing a disguise. He gave a fake name to police officers, who would find some of the items from the victims’ home, including the victim’s husband’s handgun, prosecutors said.

The subsequent investigation determined Simmons had searched for blueprints of the victim’s home days before he committed the robbery.

“The Livermore investigation also connected Simmons to a string of other burglaries in Livermore for which the defendant was convicted in Alameda County,” prosecutors said.

On Aug. 12, a jury found Simmons guilty of two felonies in connection with the 2018 residential robberies.

“What the victim experienced that morning is anyone’s worst nightmare—the defendant put her behind the barrel of a handgun, in her own bedroom, just feet away from her one- and three-year-old daughters,” said Deputy District Attorney Amy Bailey, who prosecuted the case. “The evidence was overwhelming—after once trying to take the life of victim’s husband, the defendant tracked her down, invaded her home, and forever robbed her family of their sense of safety. The victim’s bravery, the first-rate investigation by Brentwood and Livermore PD, the jury’s verdict, and the Court’s well-reasoned sentence may finally help this family begin to feel safe again in their own home,” Deputy District Attorney Amy Bailey stated. DDA Bailey prosecuted the case on behalf of the People.