FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – A Tarrant County jury sentenced a 31-year-old man to 89 years in prison for his role in the 2011 robbery and killing of a Fort Worth convenience store owner.
Jeremy Hopkins was initially charged with capital murder, but the jury convicted him of the lesser charge of aggravated robbery in connection with the robbery and killing of Azmi Elqutob, 66.
Hopkins must serve 30 years in prison before he is eligible for parole.
During the trial, prosecutors provided evidence that Hopkins and his accomplice, Frederick Jones, devised a plan to rob Smokies Food Store in the 5300 block of East Rosedale Street. Hopkins then provided a 9mm handgun to Jones, who was dressed in black and wearing gloves and a bandana covering his face.
Jones then ran into the store, shot Elqutob twice without warning, and took cash from the register. Jones then shot Elqutob twice more before fleeing the store.
When Jones fled the store, he reunited with Hopkins and gave him $40, which was later used to buy cocaine. Hopkins later threw the murder weapon into the Trinity River.
“When you hand a murder weapon to a thug, you’re going to prison for 89 years,” said Assistant District Attorney Bill Vassar in a release.
Hopkins has a criminal record which includes prior convictions for endangering a child, dealing cocaine, and assaulting a female. The jury deliberated for four hours before delivering the sentence.
Jones was tried in June 2012 and convicted of capital murder. He was sentenced to life in prison without parole. A third man charged in connection with the crime is currently in a Louisiana correctional facility.
The store’s surveillance video camera captured he robbery and murder.
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