Man gets 4.5 years in armed robbery that critically injured employee
A Lake Havasu City man was sentenced Wednesday to serve 4.5 years with the Arizona Department of Corrections after he was convicted of armed robbery, kidnapping and aggravated assault in a 2006 incident in Havasu.
Oscar G. Rangel III, 23, was sentenced in the court of Mohave County Superior Court Judge Pro Tem Derek Carlisle. Rangel had accepted a plea deal with a sentence ranging from supervised probation to five years in prison, at the judge’s discretion, said Deputy County Attorney Jeremy Huss, of Mohave County Attorney’s Office.
“If (the case) had went to trial, he could’ve faced seven to 21 years (in prison) for just the armed robbery,” Huss said.
Carlisle’s sentence fell toward the heavier end of the deal’s maximum range of five years.
Huss said mitigating principles, or lessening sentence factors, included Rangel’s involvement with Christian ministries since the incident; that Rangel was only 18 years old at the time; and Rangel having now shown remorse for his actions while under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
Aggravating principles, or increasing sentencing factors included the presence of an accomplice — whose identity Rangel wouldn’t reveal, and the severe throat injury inflicted on a store clerk, Huss said.
The charges are linked to his alleged involvement in an armed robbery that occurred in November 2006 at Commander Center convenience store in Havasu.
During the robbery, three people were inside the store. One was injured and transported to Havasu Regional Medical center with life-threatening injuries, according to earlier published reports.
According to those reports, unknown male subjects entered the business using clothing to conceal their identities. They used force with a deadly weapon to take an unknown amount of cash from the register.
The subjects then fled on foot before police arrived.
Eyewitnesses told police the unidentified suspects were possibly Hispanic men of medium build, who wore dark clothing, gloves, and bandanas shrouding their faces. One suspect possessed a firearm, and the other possessed a hunting-style knife.
Rangel, the knife-bearing suspect, walked behind the store clerk’s station and approached the clerk. The second approached from behind and held a gun to the back of the clerk’s head, pressing the muzzle underneath the back of his right ear.
Rangel grabbed the clerk from behind, held the knife to the clerk’s throat and demanded money from the register. After the clerk surrendered the money, the suspect demanded the location of the second register and safe.
The clerk said there was no second register and paused before answering the location of the safe. Following the brief pause, Rangel cut the clerk’s throat.
The injured clerk appeared to be fully conscious and alert but bleeding heavily from the neck. He was transported to Havasu Regional Medical Center with a life-threatening injury, reports said.
The clerk survived the injury and is alive and well, Huss said.
During the incident, two other individuals were inside the store, a man who had stopped to purchase a can of beer, and a second store employee who was mopping the deli. The second store employee was a Spanish-speaking person and immediately transported to the police department, where a translator could obtain a report.
Rangel was arrested in mid January 2010 after a pastor urged him to turn himself in to authorities.
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