Second man gets life without parole in Valero double-murder

Posted Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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A second man has been sentenced to life in prison without parole in the murder of a 70-year-old bread deliveryman and a convenience store clerk.

Tyrone Pierre Thomas, 27, of Fort Worth was convicted of capital murder on Wednesday. The life sentence was automatic because the Tarrant County district attorney’s office did not seek the death penalty, according to a news release from the district attorney’s office.

Thomas was arrested for his role in the slayings of Jerry Burnett, a 70-year-old Mrs Baird’s Bread delivery driver who family members say was working to help his grandson through school, and Daniel Rojas-Torres, a convenience store clerk, during a robbery at a Valero convenience store.

Burnett died at John Peter Smith hospital 10 days after the shooting.

Rojas-Torres, who prosecutors said was shot execution-style even though he complied with the robbers’ demands, died within minutes of being shot, according to the Tarrant County medical examiner’s office.

Thomas was one of three masked men who entered a Valero Convenience store in the 4100 block of Mansfield Highway on March 23, 2010.

Kwame Rockwell shot the two while Thomas poured gasoline throughout the store, according to testimony. Thomas was interrupted by a customer before the gasoline could be ignited.

Rockwell, one of five people charged in the case, was convicted in January 2012 and sentenced to death. Randy Seibel, 38, of Granbury is serving a life prison sentence with no chance for parole.

Chance Smith, a participant in the robbery who confessed to his role as one of the lookout men, received a 20-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to aggravated robbery and agreeing to testify for the state, court records show.

A trial date has not been set for Tyrone Thomas’ cousin, Timothy Thomas, who is the fifth suspect in the case.

Sean Colston and Kevin Rousseau prosecuted the case in state District Judge Mike Thomas’ court.

Mitch Mitchell, 817-390-7752 Twitter: @mitchmitchel3

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