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3rd teen defendant convicted in store owner’s 2016 killing

February 9, 2018

CHESTERFIELD, Va. (AP) — The third teenage defendant in the deadly shooting of a Virginia convenience store owner during an attempted robbery has pleaded guilty.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports Chesterfield County Circuit Judge David E. Johnson on Thursday sentenced Thomas L. Jennings III to more than 12 years in prison.

Johnson accepted a plea deal that amended Jennings’ first-degree murder charge to second-degree murder.

Chesterfield prosecutor Shawn Gobble says then-18-year-old Jennings voluntarily surrendered two days after the Jan. 11, 2016 killing of Harshad Patel. Jennings also agreed to testify against his accomplices, shooter Trayvon M. Wilhite and his younger brother Tyqise Wilhite.

Johnson earlier sentenced Trayvon Wilhite to 40 years in prison. Tyqise Wilhite’s 50-year sentence was suspended on the condition he be committed to the state juvenile justice department until his 21st birthday.

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Information from: Richmond Times-Dispatch, http://www.richmond.com

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