UPDATE: 4 p.m. Friday
A youth convicted of participating in the armed robberies of high school students at a Halloween party in Pantego on Oct. 30, 2010 has been sentenced to 99 years in prison. A jury in state District Judge Mike Thomas' court handed Pedro Dominguez, 19, the maximum sentence. Full story: http://bit.ly/SjqPdR
UPDATE: Noon, Friday
The jury may be getting close to deciding punishment in the Halloween robbery case. They sent out a note to the judge asking if "99 years to life" is "valid" sentence.
The answer, the judge responded, is that it would have to be one or the other.
UPDATE: 11:21 p.m.
The jury deciding punishment for convicted Halloween robber Pedro Dominguez is busy: Now they want to see photos taken of the bloodied head of a father who was pistol-whipped after he interrupted the robbery when he arrived to pick up his son.
And they want to see the gun that still had his blood on it when it was taken from Dominguez's car at school.
The jury deliberating punishment for convicted Halloween robber Pedro Dominguez returned to the courtroom Friday morning to rehear the frantic 911 calls from party-goers reporting the robberies.
Jurors also have asked the court for a list of felony convictions and charges against Dominguez and for the difference between a life sentence and a 99-year sentence.
Under both sentences, an inmate is eligible for parole after 30 years.
UPDATE: 10:25 a.m., Friday
A jury has begun deliberating punishment for convicted Halloween robber Pedro Dominguez.
Prosecutors Page Simpson and Brock Groom urged jurors to give Dominguez the maximum life in prison, saying he already has become a career criminal at age 19.
"He's a predator," Simpson said in closing arguments. "What's left after you've pistol-whipped someone and put 20 kids on the floor? I can think of two things - murder and capital murder.
"Keep this community safe," she urged jurors. "Keep him off the streets for as long as possible."
Defense attorney David Bays urged jurors to give Dominguez 20 years - enough time so that he can rehabilitate himself.
"Is your sentence going to create a rehabilitated man or a hardened criminal?" Bays told jurors during closing arguments. "Your verdict should give him some hope."
Dominguez was convicted Thursday of being one of four gunmen who infiltrated a high school Halloween party and then robbed nearly 20 participants at gunpoint, pistol-whipping a father who interrupted the burglary by arriving to pick up his son.
The robbers, all teens, then held a celebration party and laughed about their exploits, taking pictures of themselves in full regalia with guns drawn. The next day, an co-defendant testified, they drove back by to see if they could steal the guns they'd left behind in the Pantego home when they left in a rush.
"It's all that more eggregious that they went back," Groom said.
Jurors began deliberating at 10:25 a.m. in state District Judge Mike Thomas' court.
Convicted Halloween robber Pedro Dominguez is already a "career criminal" at 19, a prosecutor suggested during questioning Friday in the punishment phase of Dominguez's trial.
Prosecutors Brock Groom and Page Simpson presented evidence that Dominguez has a prior car theft conviction and prior juvenile troubles.
Defense attorney David Bays presented testimony from Dominguez's family, including his mother, Christina Dominguez, that they would support the youth in getting back on track if he is out of prison.
Closing arguments are set to begin midmorning before state District Judge Mike Thomas.