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Mother of slain Pleasanton store guard continues fight for justice despite plea deal

Mother of slain Home Depot guard weighs in on plea deal, Alameda DA Pamela Price recall
Mother of slain Home Depot guard weighs in on plea deal, Alameda DA Pamela Price recall 03:00

The suspects in the killing of a Pleasanton Home Depot employee will see prison time, but his mother's mission for justice is not over yet.

Both suspects agreed to plea deals in the shooting death of loss prevention officer Blake Mohs, who was working at the Pleasanton store. The killing happened during an attempted shoplifting at the store on Johnson Road last April.

Mohs was killed as he attempted to intervene and stop a shoplifter. His mother, Lorie Mohs, said she had never been involved in politics until after her son's murder.

"It feels like yesterday, but it feels like 10 years ago. That moment where your heart stops and you go, this can't, like this can't," said Mohs.

The suspected shoplifter and shooter, 33-year-old Benicia Knapps agreed to plead no contest to 2nd degree murder, which carries a sentence of 19 years to life in prison. The person accused of driving the getaway car, 32-year-old David Guillory pleaded no contest to being an accessory as well as other charges. His sentence could be around eight years.

"There's that moment that happens when you've got it. You've got the deal done, and you can breathe," said Lorie.

She said she is the one who pushed for the plea deal because it can't be appealed, but more importantly because it finally brings closure to her family. She said over the past year her family has been fighting with the Alameda County District Attorney's Office to get appropriate charges filed against the suspects.

"They erased his future. Why would I have to fight for justice for him?" she asks.

It's part of the reason why she has been an outspoken advocate trying to get current Alameda County District Attorney Pamela Price recalled from office.

"I voted for her, and I made a mistake. She doesn't do anything for victims except revictimize them. She doesn't help them," Mohs said. "She doesn't give them any details as to how to get justice for their family. She just looks out for the people that did it."

Mohs said, at this point, she's relieved to have the case behind them so her family can move on, and she hopes the same will happen for the suspects.

"My goal for them in this is that the time that they're going to serve, that they make it productive, that they get some job skills, they find their faith, they find a redeemed life for their kids."

While both suspects have agreed to that plea deal, their sentencing is scheduled for June 6.

The DA's office issued a statement about the plea deal on Tuesday.

"The DA's office and its Victim-Witness Advocates have been in continuous contact with Blake (Mohs') family throughout the court proceedings over this past year. In open court, the prosecutor stated on the record that the resolution occurred with the blessing of the next of kin, who were present in court during the negotiations with the defense and when the plea was entered," the DA's office said. 

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