Jury gives skinhead 40 years, not probation, in second trial



GALVESTON, Texas (AP)—A teen-age skinhead who received probation earlier this year for the murder of a black man was convicted on a related charge Thursday and sentenced to 40 years in prison.

Christopher Brosky, 19, was convicted of engaging in organized crime in the June 1991 drive-by shooting of Donald Thomas, a warehouse worker from Arlington.

The charge carried a maximum sentence of life in prison. Jurors, after deliberating the sentence for about an hour, chose the 40-year term and also fined Brosky $5,000. They declined to comment afterwards.

Brosky also faced a lesser charge of conspiracy to commit murder, but prosecutors said the jury could only rule on one charge.

Brosky showed no emotion when the sentence was read and wouldn’t comment later. Thomas’ widow, Carolyn Thomas, emotionally thanked the jurors after the sentencing.

‘‘This is really hard for me because we’re going through this a second time,’‘ she said, her voice wavering. ‘‘I’m very pleased.’‘

In March, an all-white jury convicted Brosky of murder for his role as an accomplice and decided to give him a five-year prison term in addition to 10 years’ probation. But the judge was forced to drop the prison term because that combination is against the law in Texas.

The probation sentence sparked protests, including a march through downtown Fort Worth that drew 10,000 people, and led authorities to launch the second prosecution. An appeals court ruled earlier that double jeopardy was not an issue because the charges were different.

R.L. Livingston, chairman of the Black-on-Black Task Force in Fort Worth, said the 40-year sentence was fair punishment for Brosky.

During the second trial, moved from Fort Worth because of extensive publicity, prosecutors attempted to show that Brosky, who was in the back seat during the shooting; Joshua Hendry, the driver; and William ‘‘Trey’‘ Roberts III shared membership in the neo-Nazi skinhead movement.

Prosecutors also argued that all three advocated violence toward minorities and helped one another during the crime.

Defense lawyers presented no witnesses but argued that Brosky had no motive and did not agree to do the shooting. Brosky has said he was drunk and asleep in the car when the killing occurred.

Roberts and Hendry reached earlier plea agreements sentencing them to 40 years and 15 years, respectively.