LUBBOCK, Texas — Phillip Velazquez, a man who was accused of robbing a Picantes restaurant in Lubbock in 2017 was sentenced to 45 years in prison on Wednesday.
A jury found that in January 2017, Velazquez entered Picantes right before the employees were about to leave the restaurant and held employees and customers at gunpoint.
One witness said three men came into the restaurant. One of the suspects knocked a tray from his hands, made him get down on his knees and put a gun to his head.
The armed robber then took his wallet and phone. The robber also wanted the keys to his truck.
Velazquez was one of three suspects arrested and charged.
“The victims saw the guns pointed at their loved ones. A rare crime, an armed robbery in a restaurant,” said the state. “Focus on deterring others. Focus on three things, the victims, the community, sending a clear message to others.”
The defense rebutted by saying “he’s [Velazquez] got family and friends that will help him be a better person. You didn’t get a good glimpse of who Phillip is 95% of the time. Jail is an ugly place.”
The same jury that convicted Velazquez on Monday heard more testimony and then chose his punishment on Wednesday.
Related story: Was he the 3rd Picantes robber? Lubbock jury verdict now in