60ºF

Teen charged with murder to appear in court

Police say 15-year-old shot clerk while robbing tobacco store in St. Augustine

photo

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – The family of a convenience store clerk who police say was murdered by a 15-year-old has begun arriving from India for his funeral.

Malav Desai's parents flew in and are making their way to St. Augustine where their 29-year-old son was killed.

Police say runaway teen Sergio Morgan-Wideman shot Desai (pictured below) in the head while robbing the Tobacco & Beverage Express on Masters Drive on Tuesday.

Police say, he then jumped in a stolen SUV and took off on a high-speed chase with another teenager.

Malav Desai was killed during a robbery at a tobacco shop in St. Augustine.
Malav Desai was killed during a robbery at a tobacco shop in St. Augustine.

Morgan-Wideman will make a first appearance on the murder charge at the St. Johns County Courthouse at 10:30 a.m. Friday.

The 15-year-old is currently being housed at the Juvenile Detention Center in Volusia County since St. Johns County does not have a juvenile facility.

Detectives say Morgan-Wideman went into the store wearing a blue hoodie and a red bandana over his mouth. They said the teen grabbed a girl by the shirt, held a gun to her back and then ordered everyone to get on the ground.

Witnesses say the teen then yelled at Desai to hand him money. They say he shot Desai in the head and then took off. Desai died at the store.

Andre Robinson Jr.
Andre Robinson Jr.

Police say Morgan-Wideman sped away in a stolen Jeep Grand Cherokee with 16-year-old Andre Robinson Jr. (pictured) behind the wheel. They led officers from multiple law enforcement agencies on a high-speed chase through St. Johns, Putnam and Clay counties.

With a helicopter watching from the sky and cops hot on their tail, deputies used stop sticks and performed what's called a PIT maneuver to stop the teenagers and arrest them in Green Cove Springs.

Desai's friends have flown in from all over the country and India to comfort Desai's wife, who is devastated and confused.

His friends describe Desai as a happy person who was always nice to everyone and concerned about everybody else.

The manager had only been working at the store for a few weeks but knew all his customers by name and what they purchased at his store.