Documents, video gives details of clerk slaying, teens' arrest

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – As two teenagers accused in the killing of a store clerk in St. Augustine on May 19 await trial, News4Jax investigators  obtained interrogation tapes, records and video of a high-speed chase through three counties that led to their arrest.

The material is evidence filed in the state's murder case against 15-year-old Sergio Morgan-Wideman and 16-year-old Andre Robinson. Both are being tried as adults.

According to investigative reports obtained from the State Attorney's Office, Morgan-Wideman is accused of robbing the Tobacco and Beverage Express because he wanted money to start a life together with his girlfriend. According to an eyewitness who was in the store at the time, the clerk, 29-year-old Malav Desai (pictured below), was shot once in the forehead in the first few seconds of the robbery.

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.

The documents show the robbers got away with $600.

CRIME SCENE: Florida Department of Law Enforcement evidence photos

After the robbery, the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office helicopter followed the get-away vehicle west through the county into Putnam County, then north into Clay County. Authorities said Robinson was behind the wheel and Morgan-Wideman was a passenger in an SUV that was stolen from Daytona Beach a few days earlier.

"It looks like Clay County is joining the pursuit," A SJC deputy in Air 1 radioed during the pursuit.

Three times during the chase deputies put out stop sticks in an effort attempt to flatten the tire of the fleeing vehicle, but the SUV avoided them.

LISTEN: 911 calls | WATCH: St. Johns County Air 1 video of pursuit, crash

At times the SUV swerved onto the wrong side of the road. As the pursuit approaching a more populated area, a Clay County deputy intentionally struck the fleeing vehicle to disable it.

"We've got a pit (maneuver) right before the bridge (to) Green Cove Springs," the air deputy reported. "Vehicle is stopped clearly on the bridge, northbound on Highway 17."

On the ground, deputies quickly take the teenagers into custody. They were not injured in the crash.

Police reported finding electronics in the car that were also reported stolen from Daytona Beach.

A few hours later, Morgan-Wideman was interrogated with his parents in the room, who can't believe what police are telling them. The teenager denies knowing anything about the robbery.

Detective: "There is a dead clerk in St. Augustine right now and his family is right there and that is what we are investigating."

Morgan-Wideman's mother: "That's why I'm here. Are you high?"
Sergio Morgan-Wideman: "No. I heard like that happened, but I didn't know nobody thought it was us. I know the police got behind me, probably because, you feel me, his light was messed up and we just took off."
Detective: "As I explained to you folks in the briefing from a few minutes ago, we are here for a homicide investigation."
Mother: "But he doesn't even know?"
Detectives: "We haven't been allowed to speak to him until you got here."
Mother: "If someone put a gun to someone's head and blew their brains out, you would think they would know? (Turning to son) Do you not know? They saying you pulled, you shot a man in the head."
Sergio Morgan-Wideman: "I ain't did nothing like that."

Records show eyewitnesses who were in the store that day identified Morgan-Wideman to police as the gunman. In a taped audio interview, an eyewitness told detectives Wideman had the money and then still decided to shoot to kill.

"He kept saying, 'Give me the money; give me the money,' and he opened the cash register," witness Lether Kittles said. "I guess he did open the register because I heard it come open, and he said, 'Give me the money; give me the money,' and the man said, 'I am; I am,' and he was shot. That was it."

"Before I know it, he was running out of the store, and then the girls come out of the store and the clerk had gotten shot and called 911," witness Robert Chamber said.

Florida Division of Juvenile Justice photos of Sergio Demario Morgan-Wideman and Andre Jerome Robinson Jr.
Florida Division of Juvenile Justice photos of Sergio Demario Morgan-Wideman and Andre Jerome Robinson Jr.

Andre Robinson is charged as a co-defendant in the murder case. His father told investigators he knew the victim and can't believe his son would be involved.

"I could see him stealing a car and joyriding, but being involved in a murder? Nah," Robinson's father, Andre Williams, said.

Authorities said they also have eyewitnesses to the actual murder as well as evidence they've developed from the defendant's cell phone records and Facebook.

Morgan-Wideman and Robinson are due in court Dec. 2 for the next pretrial hearing.

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