For Immediate Release
Contact: Michelle Bays
775.321.4307 (o); 775.771.6049 (c)
The Washoe County District Attorney’s Office has announced that a 16 year old who robbed a Lemmon Valley 7-11 employee at gunpoint has been sentenced to 15 years in prison. The DA’s Office sought and received adult certification of the teen based on his criminal history, the facts of the case and in the interests of protecting the public’s safety. A minimum of 4 years must be served before parole eligibility begins.
Steven Mathew Murch, 16, from Reno was sentenced last week in Washoe County District Court by the Honorable Jerome Polaha on one count of Robbery with the Use of a Deadly Weapon. Murch was sentenced to a maximum term of 10 years in prison for the robbery charge and a consecutive maximum term of 5 years for having used a firearm. Murch was certified as an adult in March and pled guilty in April.
The case against Murch began on November 15, 2016 when the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO) responded to a report of a robbery at the 7-11 in Lemmon Valley. WCSO detectives were called to the scene and determined that at approximately 3:20 a.m. Murch entered the store armed with a handgun and wearing a mask. A co-defendant, 15 year old Joseph Wall-Ortiz, entered the store with Murch, armed with a knife. The two demanded money from the store employees. Murch held the gun to one employee’s head, while Wall-Ortiz emptied the register and took cigarettes. Upon leaving, Murch fired a shot into the ceiling.
Following the robbery, Murch and Wall-Ortiz joined up with a third defendant Elijah D. Rogers, 19, and the three headed to California. The following day, a secret witness tip led to the discovery of the mask used in the robbery. Detectives were able to identify and track down all three defendants, as well as several other juveniles who were involved in the robbery at various levels. Munch, Wall-Ortiz and Rogers were arrested on November 17, 2016 and all three subsequently pled guilty. Wall-Ortiz pled to one count of Robbery and will be sentenced on July 19, 2017 in Department 9 of District Court. Rogers pled guilty to one count of Conspiracy to Commit Robbery and is currently awaiting sentencing.