Murder suspect gets life term without parole

December 12, 2012

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A 38-year-old Hood County man who was the second suspect to go on trial for participating in the March 2010 double murder and robbery at a Fort Worth Valero convenience store on Monday was found guilty and automatically sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole, according to the Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office.

Randy Keith Seibel, of the 4100 block of Newport Bay Court in the Port Ridglea West subdivision east of Granbury, was found guilty of capital murder by a jury in Fort Worth’s Criminal District Court No. 1 of Judge Mike Thomas.

Daniel Rojas, a 22-year-old clerk who was working at the store, was shot execution-style in the head despite the fact that he cooperated with the demands of the robbers, McDonald noted. Jerry Burnett, a 70-year-old who drove a Mrs. Baird’s delivery truck and happened to be in the store stocking bread during the robbery, was also shot. He died of his wounds 10 days later.

The first defendant, Kwame Abai Rockwell, of Fort Worth, was found guilty of capital murder in January and was sentenced to death. Two other capital murder defendants, cousins Timothy Vashawn Thomas and Tyrone Pierre Thomas, both of Fort Worth, are in jail and will also stand trail for the crime. Another man, Chance McKenzie Smith, also of Fort Worth, pleaded guilty to aggravated robbery and was sentenced to 20 years in prison “in exchange for his truthful testimony in the case,” McDonald said.

McDonald explained that Seibel, Rockwell and Thomas entered the Valero at 4125 Mansfield Highway wearing masks in the predawn hours.

“During the heist, Rockwell shot Burnett and Rojas in cold-blood,” McDonald stated, noting that a store surveillance video was part of the evidence shown to the jury by prosecutors Kevin Rousseau and Sean Colston.

“Afterward, one of the robbers poured gasoline on the floor and over Burnett but was interrupted by a customer before it could be ignited.

“Although Seibel was not the one who shot Burnett and Rojas, he was convicted under the ‘law of parties.’”

The jury in Seibel’s case deliberated about 45 minutes, McDonald said.

McDonald said that Rockwell, Seibel and Smith worked at a car lot next door to the Valero and believed the store kept a large amount of money on hand to cash checks.

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