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Man who killed gas station clerk sentenced

Samuel Birch was convicted of killing 24-year-old Mauricio Perez on Thanksgiving Day 2020.

CENTENNIAL, Colo. — A man who shot and killed a gas station clerk on Thanksgiving Day 2020 will spend the rest of his life in prison. 

A jury in Arapahoe County convicted Samuel Birch in March of killing 24-year-old Mauricio Perez while he was working at the Circle K near South Quebec Street and East County Line Road in Centennial. 

> The video above aired December 2020 when Birch was arrested.

On Friday, he was sentenced to life in prison. 

According to an arrest affidavit, Birch shot Perez after he had complied with Birch's order to give him everything in the cash register. Perez later died at a hospital.

RELATED: Man convicted in Thanksgiving Day murder of gas station clerk

In December 2020, the affidavit says Birch's girlfriend's mother called deputies to tell them Birch was the gunman after his girlfriend had seen photos from the robbery and shooting that had been released by the sheriff's office. 

The girlfriend told deputies that Birch had shown her cash and admitted to her that he had committed a robbery and fired a gun at the clerk. 

She said he had told her he buried the gun and burned the shoes and shirt he wore in the robbery, according to he affidavit.  

RELATED: Tip leads Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office to suspect in gas station robbery murder

In addition to the life sentence for the first-degree murder conviction, Birch was sentenced to 64 years for two aggravated robbery charges and 18 months on a charge of tampering with evidence. 

This article draws from previous reporting by Darren Whitehead.

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