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Local bank robbery trial continues next month

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Posted: Monday, June 27, 2011 2:28 pm | Updated: 12:03 pm, Wed Jun 29, 2011.

A Stockton man accused of multiple bank robberies in several counties will be tried for all allegations in San Joaquin County.

Phillip Dale Selfa, 58, is charged with robbing four banks in San Joaquin County between December 2010 and May 2011, as well as bank robberies in Stanislaus and Amador counties.

"It makes sense to amend the complaint (against Selfa) to add the two out-of-county robberies," said Donald Vaughn, deputy district attorney for San Joaquin County.

Selfa's attorney, Chrishna Martinez, agreed with the district attorney's decision.

"It's easier to do it this way than having three separate trials in three separate counties," she said.

The trial will continue next month because both the prosecution and defense are pouring through hundreds of pages of discovery files.

In other trial action, Stockton Superior Court Judge William D. Johnson sided with the defense in a motion concerning Selfa's bail. Martinez previously requested that if someone were to put up 10 percent of Selfa's nearly $1 million bond, the sources of that revenue didn't need to be examined.

Vaughn said he was concerned that potential proceeds from a robbery could be used to post Selfa's bail because money from the banks was never recovered. However, Martinez contended that even if all the money from Selfa's alleged robberies were pooled together, it still wouldn't "even come close" to 10 percent of his $950,000 bond.

Selfa is currently charged with eight counts, including second-degree robbery and falsely reporting a bomb. The charges stem from bank robberies in Lodi, Lockeford, Linden and Ripon.

He is also accused of having three previous federal convictions (1978, 1982 and 1989) for robbery. Selfa was listed as a career criminal by the U.S. Attorney's Office in 1990.

His next court appearance is July 27 in Stockton Superior Court. The Amador and Stanislaus county charges will likely be added at his next court appearance.

Contact reporter Jordan Guinn at jordang@lodinews.com.

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