Man Convicted in 2008 Warner Robins Murder

6:36 PM, Apr 11, 2013   |    comments
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Stewart Brannon will serve life in prison, without parole, after being convicted today for his role in a Warner Robins murder in 2008.

Houston Superior Court Judge Katherine Lumsden sentenced Stewart Brannon in the fatal shooting of Mario Smith after a four- day jury trial that began on Monday.

Brannon was found guilty on one count malice murder, two counts felony murder, one count armed robbery and one count of aggravated assault.

Houston DA George Hartwig says Brannon was the getaway driver when co-defendant Joshua Rounsoville shot and killed Smith and then stole his customized car, a 1987 Monte Carlo.

The two men met with Smith under the pretext of test driving and potentially buying a car that the man had advertised in an auto trader magazine, Hartwig said.

Rounsoville shot Smith in the head at close range with a 9 mm pistol and left his body in the car storage unit on Watson Boulevard, according to the DA.

Brannon reportedly then followed Rounsoville to Eatonton where they later stripped Smith's car and left it.

Hartwig says part of the reason Brannon wasn't considered for parole was his involvement in a previous shooting in Forsyth near a Dairy Queen.

Thirteen days before the shooting of Smith, Brannon drove Rounsoville to Forsyth where he shot another man in the chest and stole his car, a 1985 Chevrolet Caprice with 24- to 26-inch rims.

Brannon denied knowing that Rounsoville would shoot anyone in either case, but with the help of video surveillance and witness testimony, he was found guilty in both cases. 

The Forsyth victim, Zapereo Glover, was paralyzed but testified at trial.  Both Brannon and Rounsoville were found guilty in that case. 

It has been determined that the same gun used in that case was also used to kill Mario Smith.

Rounsoville pled guilty to shooting Smith and testified about Brannon's involvement in the murder.

Rounsoville will serve life in prison without parole. 

DA Hartwig said that after four and a half years of Smith's family waiting, he hopes they will have closure and feel that justice has been done.

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