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Restaurant robbers get 70 months

St. Helens men who robbed Muchas Gracias off to prison


By MARK MILLER

The Spotlight

Three St. Helens men arrested in connection with the April robbery of a Mexican restaurant have been sentenced to 70 months in prison.

Nineteen-year-olds Daniel Thomas Rehrig and Joshua Phillip Walker have pleaded guilty to second-degree robbery for their role in the armed stickup of Muchas Gracias in St. Helens.

Terrance Anthony Cochran, 18, recently pleaded no contest to first-degree attempted robbery, a lesser charge.

Deputy District Attorney Dale Anderson, who prosecuted the men, said they were trying to come up with money to buy drugs.

“It’s not clear why they picked out Muchas Gracias, but they did,” Anderson said.

Rehrig, Walker and Cochran were all recorded on surveillance video inside Muchas Gracias on April 13.

Anderson said Cochran stood watch as Rehrig and Walker brandished handguns and ordered restaurant staff to hand over about $300 from the cash register. All three wore disguises, but were apprehended by police within days.

Walker pleaded guilty on June 17, while Rehrig pleaded guilty on July 10 and Cochran pleaded no contest on July 24.

All three men were sentenced to 70 months, or nearly six years. Due to the severity of the charge both Rehrig and Walker pleaded to, they will not be eligible for early release, Anderson said. Cochran will only become eligible for early release after 35 months, he added.

The court also imposed a $200 fine on each man and is requiring the trio to pay back the $300 stolen from Muchas Gracias, Anderson said.

All three will also have three years of post-prison supervision after their release.

Restaurant owner and manager Paula Sanchez was unavailable for comment before press time.