CENTENNIAL, Colo. (CBS4) — Samuel Birch was sentenced Friday to life in prison for the Thanksgiving 2020 murder of 24-year-old Mauricio Omar Perez, a gas station clerk whom Birch shot after asking for a pack of cigarettes and money from the convenience store’s register.

“Dude, it’s going to be you, your stomach, or the money” Birch told Perez, according to the 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office. “I can shoot you when I leave or I can shoot you right now.”

(credit: Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office)

Perez complied with Birch’s demands, but Birch responded with “thank you” and shot the clerk in the stomach before leaving the store.

Perez died during surgery.

(credit: Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office)

Birch, 32, was convicted by a jury in March of two first degree murder charges, two counts of aggravated robbery, and one count of tampering with evidence.

Friday, Judge Ryan Stuart sentenced 32 years in the Colorado Department of Corrections for the robbery counts, 18 months for the tampering, and life in prison for the murder convictions, per online court records.

Samuel Birch (credit: 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office)

The fatal shooting occurred at the Valero Gas station at South Quebec Street and East County Line Road. Perez handed Birch a plastic bag containing $226.96 and 10 packs of cigarettes before he was shot.

RELATED: ‘Your Stomach Or The Money’: Samuel Birch Convicted Of Murdering Gas Station Clerk On Thanksgiving Day

It was Birch’s second armed robbery that day, according to prosecutors. He fired a gunshot into that convenience store’s ceiling before leaving with cash.

Mauricio Omar Perez (credit: Home For Funerals obituary)

Logan Smith