Sierra Market duo get probation
November 19, 2013
Two men, who tried to rob a convenience store with a BB gun, and stole coins from a Gardnerville laundry, were sentenced Tuesday to probation that includes one year in Douglas County Jail.
Angel Razo-Ortega, 25, and Tanner Cooper, 22 pleaded guilty to burglary and attempted robbery in connection with the August crimes.
District Judge Tod Young sentenced them to five years in Nevada state prison for each offense, suspended, and placed them on five years probation.
They must serve one year in Douglas County Jail, pay $1,434.04 restitution, and successfully complete Western Nevada Regional Drug Court.
Young set the sentences to be served concurrently.
Although the men have served 97 days in jail each, Young said it did not count toward the year in jail, but would be applied to their underlying sentence.
They faced a maximum of 20 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
According to court documents, investigators received information that someone named Angel was responsible for the Aug. 9 robbery attempt at Sierra Market in Gardnerville. They connected that information to a fraudulent Walmart check cashed at Sharkey's, which led them to Razo-Ortega.
He told investigators Cooper gave him $20 to buy a BB gun and the two parked in front of the market for an hour on Aug. 9 while Razo-Ortega built up the courage to go into the store.
When the clerk refused to give him any money and then grabbed for the gun, Razo-Ortega struggled to get it back and then ran out of the store.
According to the sheriff's reports, both men allegedly burglarized the Village Laundrette after the robbery and spent the money on drugs.
Young questioned the attorneys why probation was recommended instead of prison.
Lawyer Derrick Young, representing Cooper, said his client had no prior criminal record, and became addicted to methamphetamine. He said Cooper recognized the seriousness of his offenses and wanted to be a role model to his two young children.
"He is very afraid of prison. He became sober in jail and wants to participate in drug court," Lopez said.
Prosecutor Erik Levin said the Nevada Legislature set a wide sentencing margin, and he believed the recommendation fit the crime and the backgrounds of the defendants.
Cooper said he hoped the victims would be in court so he could apologize. He said he wasn't trying to minimize his participation in the crimes.
"I am severely sorry for the traumatization," he said. "I was just basically being a bad person, but I am not a bad person. I just made some bad decisions.
"I have two young kids. Doing what I did — being a drug addict — is not the way to be a father."
Razo-Ortega also apologized.
"I am sorry to everyone for everything I did," he said.
Young pointed to Razo-Ortega's background as a convenience store employee.
"You went out and tried to scare someone so badly that they give you some money. That makes you a bad guy," Young said.
"You worked at a liquor store. I think you would understand the fear a gun would induce in someone."
Razo-Ortega said he was under the influence of methamphetamine and wasn't thinking about consequences.
No victims appeared at sentencing to make impact statements.
"I hope you guys take me seriously," Young said to the defendants. "If you violate probation, you will be in a dangerous spot. Choose a different life, or I will choose a life for you that will be different than any life you've ever known."