Samuel Birch sentenced to life in prison for shooting dead gas station clerk – CBS Denver

CENTENNIAL, Colo. (CBS4) — Samuel Birch was sentenced to life in prison on Friday for the Thanksgiving 2020 murder of a 24-year-old Mauricio Omar Pereza gas station employee whom Birch shot dead after asking for a pack of cigarettes and money in the convenience store register.

“Dude, it’s gonna be you, your stomach, or the money,” Birch told Perez, according to the 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office. “I can shoot you when I leave or I can shoot you right away.”

(credit: Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office)

Perez complied with Birch’s demands, but Birch responded with “thank you” and shot the salesman in the stomach before leaving the store.

Perez died during the operation.

Investigators release footage of suspect in fatal shooting of Centennial gas station employee

(credit: Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office)

Birch, 32, was found guilty by a jury in March of two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of aggravated robbery and one count of tampering with evidence.

Suspect arrested in fatal shooting of Centennial gas station worker on Thanksgiving

On Friday, Judge Ryan Stuart sentenced the Colorado Department of Corrections to 32 years for the theft counts, 18 months for the forgery and life in prison for the murder convictions, according to online court records.

Samuel Birch (credit: 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office)

The fatal shooting occurred at the Valero gas station at South Quebec Street and East County Line Road. Perez handed Birch a plastic bag containing $226.96 and 10 packs of cigarettes before he was shot.

RELATED ‘Your Stomach Or The Money’: Samuel Birch Found Guilty Of Murdering Gas Station Clerk On Thanksgiving Day

It was Birch’s second armed robbery that day, according to prosecutors. He fired a shot into the ceiling of this convenience store before leaving with the money.

Mauricio Omar Perez (credit: Home For Funerals obituary)

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