Partner as guilty as shooter, prosecutor says

Posted Wednesday, Feb. 06, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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FORT WORTH -- Two convenience store robbers killed Azmi Elqutob for $200, Tarrant County prosecutors told a jury Tuesday.

Defendant Jeremy Hopkins did not pull the trigger nor was he even in the store when Elqutob was shot. But Hopkins provided the gun, shared the loot and knew beforehand of his partner's plan to rob the store, prosecutor Jacob Mitchell said.

Hopkins' co-defendant, Frederick Jones, 32, of Fort Worth, did the shooting. Jones was sentenced in June to life in prison without parole.

If convicted, Hopkins, 31, of Everman, will receive the same sentence.

Hopkins' attorney, Daniel Young, countered that the robbery and fatal shooting on June 1, 2011, inside Smokey's Paradise in the 5300 block of East Rosedale Street was Jones' fault.

A security camera recorded the robbery, Young said. "You watch the video closely, and you see Frederick Jones walk inside and he doesn't say anything, he just starts shooting," Young told the jury. "There are no words for it. It's just an execution.

"Jones walks behind the counter, sees Elqutob lying helpless and the floor and guess what -- he shoots him a couple of more times.

"I would suggest that no one knew what Jones was going to do."

Jurors also watched a videotaped interview with Hopkins and a police detective in which Hopkins admitted supplying Jones with the gun. Hopkins told police that originally, a drug salesman was targeted for the robbery. The detective said that if Jones shot six people while robbing a drug salesman, Hopkins would be responsible in part because he supplied the weapon.

"Without the gun, nothing happens," the detective said.

Hopkins reluctantly nodded.

Elqutob, 66, a Palestinian architect, fled his native Jerusalem about the time of the Six-Day War in 1967 and settled in Kuwait, only to leave there in 1991 after the invasion by Iraq.

This report includes material from the Star-Telegram archives.

Mitch Mitchell, 817-390-7752

Twitter: @mitchmitchel3

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