Armed robber sentenced in killing of Colorado Springs liquor store owner

By Lance Benzel Updated: May 11, 2018 at 8:17 am • Published: May 10, 2018

A Colorado Springs man who pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in a deadly holdup at a liquor store was sentenced Thursday to 54 years in prison.

Phinehas Daniels, 20, had faced 50 to 70 years in the February 2017 death of Donat Herr, who was shot after macing a trio of armed robbers at Empire Liquor, 3381 N. Academy Blvd. The stream of chemical spray hit two of the three assailants, but missed Daniels, who retaliated by opening fire, striking Herr once.

The slaying of the longtime liquor store owner, 68, marked the culmination of a string of armed robberies targeting gas stations and other retail outlets, committed by Daniels and several accomplices.

Also tied to the deadly heist was Isaiah Trujillo, 17, who was sentenced in February to seven years in the Youthful Offender System in Pueblo, which provides rehabilitation to young people convicted of serious crimes.

A 13-year-old boy also present during the crime was sentenced in November to more than six years in the Department of Youth Services.

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