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17-year-old from Willmar certified as adult in gunpoint robbery case

WILLMAR -- Oscar Manuel Trochez-Martinez, 17, of Willmar, has been certified as an adult on felony charges for allegedly robbing a downtown Willmar business at gunpoint.

Trochez-Martinez made his first appearance Thursday in Kandiyohi County District Court on the adult charges, first-degree aggravated robbery and second-degree assault. Unconditional bail was set at $200,000. His next appearance is Feb. 22.

The young man had faced the same charges, but in juvenile court. He and Angel Guzman Rodriguez, 20, of Willmar, were both charged after the Nov. 13 incident. Rodriguez has pleaded guilty to the first-degree aggravated robbery charge, with the assault charge dismissed, and is expected to be sentenced on March 23 to 41 months in prison.

Both men were arrested within eight hours of the incident. Rodriguez was still wearing bright yellow shoes which he wore during the robbery when he was arrested around 10 p.m. near Cash Wise Foods. During an interview, he said he needed money because he'd been kicked out of his home and didn't have enough money for rent.

Police found along the 400 block of Becker Avenue Southwest a Santa hat and other clothing worn by the men during the robbery, after Rodriguez said they had discarded the garments there. He also said they had split the money and hid the guns in the ceiling of an apartment.

Trochez-Martinez was taken into custody around 1:20 a.m. the next morning by officers who staked out the apartment. He had $920 in $20 and $50 bills in his wallet.

A search warrant was served on the apartment and two carbon dioxide-powered BB guns were found in the ceiling. A total of $2,175 was located where Rodriguez had told officers he hid the money.

When interviewed, Trochez-Martinez claimed he didn't know Rodriguez was going to rob the store. When informed by the officer that there was video surveillance footage, he said the robbery was Rodriguez' idea and that both men had entered the business with guns in hand.

He said he was given $1,600, that the $920 was from the robbery and that he'd already spent $600 on food and clothing, but didn't know where the clothing was.

Gretchen Schlosser

Gretchen Schlosser is the public safety reporter, and writes about agriculture occasionally, for the West Central Tribune. She's been with the Tribune since 2006 and has 17 years of experience working in news, media and communications. 

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