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Man pleads guilty to two counts of armed robbery, could face 25 years in prison

June 18, 2012|By DON AINES | dona@herald-mail.com

One of three men accused in a December gas station robbery could face 25 years in prison after entering into a plea agreement Monday in Washington County Circuit Court.

Assistant State’s Attorney Gina Cirincion told Circuit Judge M. Kenneth Long Jr. that the state is asking for a 25-year sentence for Neo Pelayo Torrez, 31, formerly of 117 Ray St. Torrez pleaded guilty to two counts of armed robbery Monday in a Dec. 16 holdup at United Petroleum, 890 Pennsylvania Ave.

Defense attorney Bernard W. Semler II was granted a request for a presentence investigation before sentencing.

“I believe my client’s record is very minimal” and that the presentence report could result in a shorter sentence, Semler said.

Torrez had been charged with 16 other counts, including robbery, criminal conspiracy, first- and second-degree assault, and theft, court records show. Those charges will be dismissed as a result of the plea agreement, Cirincion said.

Three men with their faces covered entered United Petroleum on Dec. 16, and two of them were armed with a sawed-off shotgun and what appeared to be a handgun, Cirincion said reading from the statement of facts. The man who was not armed went behind the counter, taking cash, cell phones and cigarettes from the owner-operators of the store, she said.

The man also knocked one of the victims to the floor before he and the other men fled, Cirincion said. A few days later, police received information linking Torrez and two other men to the robbery, she said.

Torrez was armed with a BB gun during the robbery, Semler told Long.

Elijah Rendell Herring, 20, of 128 Ray St., and Lee Colby Morton, 39, of 127 E. Lee St., also were charged in the United Petroleum robbery. Both men were in court Monday and were granted continuances in their cases.

Herring also is charged in a Dec. 20 home invasion on East Avenue, court records show.

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