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Teen enters plea in gunpoint robbery

WILLMAR -- Oscar Manuel Trochez-Martinez, 17, of Willmar, pleaded guilty Tuesday to a felony charge of first-degree aggravated robbery for robbing a downtown Willmar business at gunpoint.

As part of a plea agreement in Kandiyohi County District Court, another felony for second-degree assault will be dismissed and he will serve an expected 41 months in prison. He will be sentenced June 24.

Trochez-Martinez and Angel Guzman-Rodriguez, 21, of Willmar, were both charged after the Nov. 13 incident. Trochez-Martinez was certified as an adult in the case. Guzman-Rodriguez was sentenced in March to 41 months in prison, also on a charge of first-degree aggravated robbery.

The charges were filed after Willmar police were called around 3:55 p.m. Nov. 13 to Quick Return Tax Service, 214 Third St. S.W., on a report that two Hispanic males had robbed the business at gunpoint.

A man there reported that one of the men had pointed a gun at him and taken cash, between $3,000 and $5,000, from the cash register. He described the man in detail; the first man was wearing a blue jacket, glasses, red Santa hat and bright yellow shoes and had very pronounced cheekbones and chin-length black hair. He said the other man, wearing a hooded jacket with the hood up, jeans and white shoes, had turned off the lights to the business and flipped the store "open" sign to "closed" during the robbery.

Both men were arrested within eight hours of the incident. Rodriguez was still wearing the bright yellow shoes he wore during the robbery when he was picked up around 10 p.m. near Cash Wise Foods. When interviewed, he said he committed the robbery because he needed money for rent after being kicked out of his home.

Police discovered a Santa hat and other clothing items along the 400 block of Becker Avenue Southwest. Rodriguez said they had discarded the garments, which were used during the robbery, in that location. He also said he and Trochez-Martinez split the money and hid the guns in the ceiling of an apartment.

Trochez-Martinez was taken into custody around 1:20 a.m. Nov. 14. He had $920 in $20 and $50 bills in his wallet.

A search warrant was served on his 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 surveillance footage of the robbery, Trochez-Martinez said the robbery was Rodriguez's idea and that both men had entered the business with guns in hand.

He said he was given $1,600, adding the money discovered in his wallet was from the robbery. He also said he'd spent $600 from his share of the money on food and clothing.

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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