Jury Shown Video of Crime in Capital Murder Case

Co-defendant takes stand in March 2010 double homicide trial

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The trial of a robbery and homicide at a Valero gas station in March 2010 continues.

    The second day of a Tarrant County capital murder trial featured some key evidence introduced by the prosecution.

    Tarrant County Assistant District Attorney Kevin Rousseau showed the jury the surveillance video of the crime that happened in the early morning hours of March 23, 2010.

    Kwame Rockwell is accused of aggravated robbery and capital murder after prosecutors say he and two other men entered a Valero station on Mansfield Highway in southeast Fort Worth, robbed the check-cashing business and shot and killed a deliveryman and a store clerk.

    Testimony Continues in Valero Robbery, Homicide Trial

    [DFW] Testimony Continues in Valero Robbery, Homicide Trial
    The trial of a robbery and homicide at a Valero gas station in March 2010 continues.

    Daniel Rojas, the store clerk, was shot in the head, and Jerry Burnett, a Mrs. Baird's deliveryman, was also shot and died in the hospital 10 days later.

    Jurors were shown several clips of the 12 surveillance cameras that were working in the store. The video shows three masked men enter the store, take money from the register and then shoot and kill the two men.

    Gas Station Clerk Killed in Robbery Attempt

    [DFW] Gas Station Clerk Killed in Robbery Attempt
    A clerk was killed and a delivery driver was wounded during a robbery attempt at a Fort Worth Valero station.

    Part of the video was released by Fort Worth police back in 2010, but jurors saw the entire video which clearly shows Rojas' death. Members of his family wept in court while the video played.

    Defense attorney Mark Daniel also showed a portion of the video in which a man entered the store minutes after the robbery and shooting. The man put two drinks on the counter and eventually left when no one helped him.

    On Wednesday afternoon, jurors then heard testimony from a key prosecution witness. Chance Smith, a co-defendant that took a plea deal in exchange for his testimony, discussed what led up to the crime.

    Smith agreed to serve 20 years for pleading guilty to the lesser charges of aggravated robbery.

    He said that in early 2010, the car dealership business Rockwell owned and Smith worked at was struggling financially. The car lot is across the street from the Valero station.

    Smith testified that after he cashed his IRS check at the check-cashing business in the store, a sum totaling around $5,000, Blackwell and three other men joked about robbing the business while drinking beer in the car dealership's garage.

    Smith said at first they were just jokes, but those jokes turned more serious. He testified that the group originally planned on robbing the store's owner in his car after he went to the bank.

    At that point in the testimony, the jury was excused as the defense and prosecution argued whether other attempted robberies and crimes were admissible.

    Testimony in the trial is set to continue on Thursday.