Guardian of Valor News: Another WWII Veteran Dies From Brutal Mugging

WWII Veteran Lawrence Thornton with a photo of his late wife Mary and himself.

WWII Veteran Lawrence Thornton with a photo of his late wife Mary and himself.


Greenville, Mississippi- A few months ago, we reported on the brutal mugging and death of WWII Veteran Delbert Belton who had been robbed by two teens and later died from his injuries.

Well it has happened again, this time down in Mississippi. According to the DDTonline, 87 Year old WWII Veteran Lawrence E. ‘Shine’ Thornton, was attacked and robbed by four teenagers in his driveway.

Having served his country on a minesweeper in the Pacific theater during World War II, Thornton returned home to work for a local electric company and eventually opened a liquor store.

Mr. Thornton was also know in his local community  for his award-winning Maria’s Famous Hot Tamales, which he began cooking in 1984, named after his wife, Mary.

Tamale King

Tamale King

He was attacked by four teenagers in his driveway, they pushed him down, took his wallet and ran. He was airlifted to a medical facility, but succumbed a few days later due to head trauma.

Teens Charged In The Robbery And Murder

Teens Charged In The Robbery And Murder



Terrance Morgan and Edward Johnson, both 19, and Leslie Litt and Geblonski Murray, both 18, have been arrested for the violent death of Lawrence E. ‘Shine’ Thornton of Greenville, Mississippi on October 18.

Assistant police chief Andrew Kaho said that each of the teens were also charged with robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery.

They were initially being held without bond in the Washington County jail pending an initial court appearance but the judge then handed down bonds between $2million and $3million.

According to Southern Foodways, Shine entered the hot tamale business with a jerry-rigged recipe he got from a friend, and added his own spin to it.

Thornton earned his nickname Shine in high school when he began picking out the notes to ‘You are My Sunshine’ during the intermission of a performance.

Members of the band started calling him Sunshine and eventually shortened it to Shine, according to his obituary.

His sunny disposition was still with him as he grew older. According to the website he would sell his snacks out of the custom built kitchen in his home and sit with customers, often playing the fiddle to entertain his guests.

We would like to send the family our condolences on their loss, and thank Mr. Thornton for his service and sacrifice for our country. For someone to survive WWII, only to have his life taken by the very ones he fought for is appalling to say the least.

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