A Waco teenager who authorities say robbed four stores in 24 hours in September 2011 was sentenced to 36 years in prison Thursday.
Jurors in Waco’s 19th State District Court deliberated more than six hours before determining the punishment for 19-year-old Alexis Bo Perez.
For a time Thursday evening, it appeared the punishment phase of the case might be headed for a mistrial for the second time in a month.
The panel sent a note to Judge Ralph Strother at 8 p.m. saying they was deadlocked. Strother told them to continue deliberating.
At 9 p.m., jurors were allowed to take a break and use the courthouse’s fourth-floor bathroom. One of the jurors, a woman who appeared to be in her 20s, was visibly crying and told a bailiff she wanted to go home.
Shortly after 9:30 p.m., the jury told Strother they had reached a unanimous decision and were brought back into the courtroom to announce Perez’s sentence, which included fines totaling $20,000.
Perez was convicted in late January of two counts of aggravated robbery in the armed holdup of the Domino’s Pizza at 1423 Wooded Acres Drive.
But jurors deadlocked while trying to decide punishment, forcing Strother to declare a mistrial on the punishment phase after seven hours of deliberations.
While the jury this week was instructed that Perez is guilty in the Domino’s robbery, prosecutors also presented evidence that tied Perez to robberies at the Chesalon convenience store at 3401 N. 19th St., a Skinny’s at 6800 Sanger Ave. and Papa John’s Pizza at 5900 Bosque Blvd., during the same 24-hour period.
During arguments Thursday, defense attorneys Russ Hunt Sr. and Michelle Tuegel asked jurors to tailor their sentence to Perez, whom they described as a young man not fully developed and capable of change.
Prosecutor Greg Davis countered that jurors should be more concerned about Perez’s victims, who testified that they feared for their lives.
While Davis asked for a life sentence, Tuegel and Hunt suggested a 15-year term was more appropriate, although Perez was eligible for probation.
Perez was free on bond on a burglary of a habitation charge when he was arrested in the four armed robberies.
Waco police tracked a cellphone Perez stole from one of the Domino’s employees to the truck he used in the robbery. Perez left the phone in the front seat of the truck, which was parked outside an Edmond Avenue apartment complex Perez shared with this girlfriend.
Officers recovered stolen cash from the pizza store, a Domino’s sack the cash was stuffed into, the gun used in the robbery and the clothes Perez wore during the robbery.
Perez must serve at least half, or 18 years, of his sentence before becoming eligible for parole.