Jury Convicts Waco Man In Brutal Attack On Storeowner

(March 20, 2007)—Jurors deliberated for just 30 minutes Tuesday afternoon before finding a 34-year-old Waco man guilty of aggravated robbery in the the brutal beating of a liquor store owner, which was recorded on videotape by a store surveillance camera.

Tony Swinnie was charged in connection with the attack on storeowner Martha Jane Ezra, 62, who was struck in the head with a liquor bottle during the robbery on Aug. 3.

The graphic surveillance video, which figured prominently in the trial, showed the robber smashing a liquor bottle into Ezra’s head as the woman’s two grandchildren looked on in horror.

Ezra’s 7- and 10-year old grandchildren were not injured, but Ezra was admitted to Hillcrest Baptist Medical Center in serious condition.

What the video didn’t show was the robber striking the woman with the store’s cash register before escaping with an undisclosed amount of cash.

The surveillance tape evidently ran out midway through the holdup.

The punishment phase of the trial begins Wednesday morning in 19th District Court.

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