New evidence postpones trial for teen accused in clerk's murder
Sergio Morgan-Wideman, 17, is charged with shooting store clerk in robbery
ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – A St. Johns County judge has postponed the trial of 17-year-old Sergio Morgan-Wideman, who’s accused of gunning down a store clerk in St. Augustine last year, after his defense attorney filed two new motions this week.
The trial was scheduled to begin next week, but Morgan-Wideman's attorney filed a motion asking for time to review new evidence that has been presented by the state.
The state argues that the defense has had the evidence for over a year. But the defense claims it needs time to depose a new expert witness who was just listed by the prosecution to talk about cellphone evidence.
The judge granted continuance at a motions hearing Friday. The trial date has not yet been set, but the trial is expected to begin sometime in January.
The other motion filed Monday asks the court to throw out all the evidence that was seized during the traffic stop when Morgan-Wideman and 18-year-old Andre Robinson were pulled over after the crime. The defense said the evidence was taken unlawfully.
Morgan-Wideman and Robinson are accused of robbing the Tobacco and Beverage Express in St. Augustine and shooting and killing the store clerk, 29-year-old Malav Desai.
The two teens then led police on a high-speed chase through Putnam and Clay counties. After officers used a precision immobilization technique, or PIT, maneuver -- a pursuit tactic by which a pursuing car can force a fleeing car to abruptly turn sideways, causing the driver to stop -- the two were taken into custody.
One of the motions filed by Morgan-Wideman’s attorney, Rosemarie Peoples, asks the court to throw out any evidence or statements that were obtained after the two teens were stopped.
Peoples says police did not have the right to initially stop the two, saying the tip police got on the vehicle was anonymous with not enough credibility.
According to the search warrant, police found $800 in cash in the SUV, clothing that matched the description of the suspects in the store and an ammunition clip. No gun was found.
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