by mark wilson
Tyrone Pierre Thomas, a 27-year-old Fort Worth resident, on Thursday became the fourth of five men to be convicted for their part in the 2010 capital murders of two men during the robbery of a Fort Worth convenience store, according to Tarrant County District Attorney Joe Shannon Jr.
Prosecutors waived the death penalty, so the jury’s conviction of Thomas brought an automatic sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole. Hood County resident Randy Seibel was convicted last December at age 38 for his role and also received life without parole.
Kwame Rockwell, the man prosecutors said fired the bullets that killed both 70-year-old bread delivery driver Jerry Burnett and 22-year-old store clerk Daniel Rojas, was sentenced to death.
Prosecutors also said that two other men were lookouts during the crime, according to testimony. Chance Smith of Benbrook pleaded guilty to aggravated robbery in 2011 and was sentenced to 20 years in prison. Timothy Thomas, Tyrone Thomas’ cousin, remains in custody awaiting his capital murder trial.
Burnett and Rojas were shot “execution style,” and Burnett died 10 days later.
Prosecutors told the jury that three masked men – Rockwell, Seibel and Tyrone Thomas – entered the Valero store on Mansfield Highway in the pre-dawn hours of March 23, 2010. They told the jury that Rockwell shot the two victims “in cold blood” and that afterward Tyrone Thomas “poured gasoline on the floor and on Burnett but was interrupted by a customer before it could be ignited.” The crime – including the shooting of Rojas – was captured on a video surveillance camera.
Prosecutors stated that Rockwell and Seibel worked at a car lot next door and “believed the store owners kept a large amount of money on hand,” and also added, “They made several unsuccessful robbery attempts” at the store prior to that day.
Category: News Archived