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story.lead_photo.caption Gisselle Rivera aggravated robbery battery in the first degree leaving the scene of a personal injury accident

BENTONVILLE -- Gisselle Rivera will be tried as an adult for her role in a robbery that left a store clerk injured, Benton County Circuit Judge Brad Karren ruled Wednesday.

Rivera, 19, of Fayetteville pleaded not guilty to charges of aggravated robbery, battery, leaving the scene of a personal injury accident and accomplice to theft of property.

She and Cassandra Ramos Salazar were arrested in January 2018 in connection with the theft of a 12-pack of Corona beer from the Kum and Go in Lowell, according to a probable cause affidavit.

Rivera, who was driving the car, ran over a store clerk as the two fled the business with the beer, according to the affidavit.

Rivera was 17 at the time of the crime. Prosecutors charged her as an adult.

Peter Giardino, Rivera's attorney, filed a motion seeking to transfer the case to juvenile court.

Karren held a hearing May 1 on the request and heard statements Wednesday from the attorneys before issuing his ruling.

Giardino described his client as immature with a 67 IQ, adding she was in special education classes while in school. He also said Rivera had not been taught life skills. He argued the juvenile system had services that could aid in his client's rehabilitation.

Joshua Robinson, deputy prosecutor, told the judge Rivera understands the process and asked the detective if her case could be transferred to Washington County.

"That doesn't sound like a child to me," he said.

Robinson said Rivera knew Salazar was going to steal the beer.

He also questioned whether rehabilitation services would be available for the 19-year-old. Karren said rehabilitative services would be limited for Rivera. He questioned whether she would follow the court's orders in obtaining the services.

A pre-trial hearing is scheduled for July 8.

Salazar is charged with aggravated robbery, battery, aggravated assault and theft of property. She pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Proceedings in her case have been suspended pending the outcome of a mental evaluation. A mental status hearing is scheduled for July 8.

Salazar, 22, and Rivera are each being held on $100,000 bond in the Benton County Jail.

NW News on 05/17/2019

Print Headline: Teen to be tried as adult in robbery

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