WW gang member pleads guilty in Zip Zone robbery

Corey J. Reece faces 15-20 months in prison after pleading guilty Thursday.

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WALLA WALLA -- A local gang member agreed to accept a prison sentence by pleading guilty Thursday afternoon to robbing the Zip Zone Conoco of beer in February.

Corey J. Reece, 25, of 9231/2 W. Chestnut St., entered the guilty plea in Superior Court to the reduced charge of second-degree robbery. He faces a standard-range prison term of 15-20 months -- based on his criminal history of five previous felonies -- when he's sentenced later. The prosecution and defense are jointly recommending the high end of the range.

Reece had been charged with the first-degree robbery and second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm, but the case was reduced in exchange for his guilty plea.

In pleading guilty to second-degree robbery, he didn't admit guilt, but acknowledged the prosecution has evidence to convict him.

Officials said Reece robbed the Zip Zone, 110 N. Ninth Ave., about 1 a.m. Feb. 18 by arming himself with a gun as he took two 12-packs of beer from the store and threatened the clerk.

He left in a gold-colored sedan -- driven by someone else -- that headed west on Alder Street, officials said. A similar car later was located by a sheriff's deputy a few blocks away. Several known gang members fled, but left behind open containers of the same brand of beer stolen during the robbery.

Police developed evidence to arrest Reece on March 4 after viewing surveillance videos and interviewing several people.

Terry McConn can be reached at terrymcconn@wwub.com or 526-8319.

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