A judge has sentenced a 36-year-old man to more than 23 years in prison for robbing a Modesto store at gunpoint and later severely beating a fellow inmate at the Stanislaus County Jail.
A jury convicted Pedro Alvarez of three counts of assault with a semi-automatic firearm and one count of negligent discharge of a firearm in connection with the armed robbery. In his second case, Alvarez pleaded guilty to a felony assault charge for beating the fellow jail inmate.
On July 12, Stanislaus County Superior Court Judge Dawna Reeves sentenced Alvarez to a total of 23 years and four months in prison, the district attorney's office reported Friday.
Prosecutors said Alvarez will have to serve 85 percent of his sentence before he is eligible for parole because the offenses are considered violent felonies.
The armed robbery occurred Dec. 2, 2011, at Kano's Smoke Shop, 1309 Yosemite Blvd. in Modesto.
Prosecutors said Alvarez pulled out a loaded .40-caliber Glock semi-automatic handgun and pointed the weapon at two customers and the store clerk. They said Alvarez threatened the customers and the clerk, telling them not to move or he would shoot them.
Alvarez then fired one shot into the store's ceiling, prosecutors said. While Alvarez's attention was focused on stealing money, knives and cigarettes, the customers and the clerk left the store.
One of the customers ran to a nearby store and called 911. Modesto police officers arrived as Alvarez was leaving the smoke shop. After a struggle, the officers disarmed Alvarez and arrested him.
While in custody at the jail, prosecutors said Alvarez severely beat the fellow inmate. The assault resulted in the additional criminal charges filed against him.
Bee staff writer Rosalio Ahumada can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (209) 578-2394.