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SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA / A news summary

Schools Officer Rejects Reduced Jail Term

August 08, 2000

PASADENA — A former Pasadena schools police officer, allegedly caught on a hidden camera committing a break-in while on duty, declined a judge's offer Monday to serve 90 days in jail on lesser charges.

Michael Babb, 38, of Pomona, will face a preliminary hearing Aug. 17. He declined the offer from Pasadena Superior Court Judge Terry Smerling when he appeared in court on four felony counts for allegedly burglarizing three school campuses between January 1999 and his arrest in May.

If convicted on all counts, Babb faces up to six years in state prison. Babb faces a special allegation that he carried a handgun--his department-issued 9-millimeter Beretta--in the commission of the crime, which mandates a sentence of state prison time.

Babb, who was fired from his schools job, has pleaded not guilty and is free on $5,000 bail.

"We're prepared to show the video to him on the 17th," said Deputy Dist. Atty. Thomas Krag. The May 7 videotape, according to Krag, shows Babb in uniform, rifling through desks, prying open a door and attempting to crack the safe shortly before 6 a.m. at Pasadena High School.

Prosecutors say Babb also has "made statements implicating himself" in three other burglaries: at Washington Middle School, between February and mid-March 1999; at Roosevelt Elementary School, in late January 2000; and at Pasadena High School, between Dec. 17, 1999, and Jan. 3.

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