A Bay Area man set to stand trial for the 2005 robbery and shooting of a female Golden Gate Bridge toll worker has pleaded guilty to robbery and faces a life sentence, prosecutors said today.

Marcellus Cooksey accepted the plea deal in San Francisco Superior Court Monday, just before jury selection in his trial was to begin, according to district attorney’s office spokeswoman Erica Derryck.

According to prosecutors, Cooksey drove a stolen Ford sport utility vehicle up to the toll plaza on the night of April 9, 2005, pulled a semiautomatic handgun on the woman, and demanded she hand over money.

When she refused, Cooksey reached into the tollbooth, grabbed a bag of money, and shot the woman in the neck, according to prosecutors. He was apprehended running from police at the toll plaza. The woman later recovered from the shooting.

According to police and prosecutors, the car Cooksey had stolen stalled in front of the tollbooth, and he got out and ran, chased by a Golden Gate Bridge patrol officer. He fired once at the officer and missed, and was shot in the leg by the officer.

Cooksey was found in the nearby bushes with the gun and money, prosecutors said.
Cooksey, now 46, was facing two counts of attempted murder, two counts of assault with a semiautomatic weapon, one count of robbery, one count of driving a stolen vehicle and one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

As part of the plea deal, Cooksey admitted two prior strikes, one for kidnapping for the purpose of robbery and another for robbery, according to Derryck.

Under California’s three-strikes law, he now faces 25 years to life in prison, with the possibility of parole after serving at least 85 percent of the 25 years, according to the district attorney’s office.

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