Seibel murder trial rescheduled

November 17, 2012

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The capital murder trial of Hood County resident Randy Keith Seibel, delayed by witness scheduling conflicts, is now scheduled to begin on Dec. 3, in Fort Worth, according to Melody McDonald, a spokeswoman for the Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office.

Seibel, 38, of the 4100 block of Newport Bay Court in the Port Ridglea West subdivision east of Granbury, is one of four suspects in the shooting deaths of two men in March 2010 at a Fort Worth convenience store. Jury selection had originally been set for last week.

Prosecutors decided to waive the death penalty in Seibel’s case, McDonald said. If convicted of capital murder, Seibel would automatically be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, she noted.

Seibel, who was arrested in late March 2010 at his home, remains in Tarrant County custody on $750,000 bond.

The murder victims were store clerk Daniel Rojas-Torres and a delivery truck driver, Jerry Burnett.

The first of the four suspects to go to trial, Kwame Abai Rockwell, was found guilty in January and sentenced to death. Rockwell and Seibel were accused by prosecutors of being the two masked triggermen in the murders during the robbery of the store.

The other two co-defendants are cousins Tyrone Pierre Thomas and Timothy Vashawn Thomas, both of Fort Worth. They will be tried later. McDonald said no decision has been made on whether they could face the death penalty.

A fifth man, accused of driving the getaway vehicle, Chance McKenzie Smith of Fort Worth, pleaded to a lesser charge of robbery and received a 20-year prison sentence.

The arrest warrant affidavit states that Seibel caused Burnett’s death by shooting him “in the course of committing or attempting to commit the offense of robbery.”

Burnett, 69, of Joshua, was transported from the scene to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth, where he died 10 days later. Rockwell was convicted of shooting Rojas-Torres.

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