Richmond Police Arrest Fourth Suspect in Downtown Jewelry Store Murder

The Richmond Police Department has arrested a fourth person  in connection with the murder of Muhammad H. Baig, who was killed at a downtown Richmond jewelry store on Monday afternoon.

Around 4 p.m. on May 5, Richmond Police officers were called to Victoria Jewelers at 309 E. Broad St. for a report of a person down. Police arrived on scene to find Baig, a clerk at the store, dead from an apparent gunshot wound and believe he was killed during an armed robbery.

On Wednesday afternoon, it was announced that the following suspects were arrested in North Carolina and have been charged with conspiracy to commit murder for the incident at Victoria Jewelers: Jesse G. Edmond, 49, of the 1400 block of Enfield Avenue; Anthony J. Lenard, 26, of the 00 block of East Clay Street; and Jermeaka M. Gorhom, 28, of the 4000 block of McKay Avenue.

Edmond, Lenard and Gorhom were captured in North Carolina after a traffic stop and are waiting to be extradited to Richmond.

“In about 28 hours, suspects were developed, vehicles were located and arrests were made,” said Richmond Police Major Steve Drew.

Police sources tell ABC 8News that Gorhom attempted to rob a bank in Henrico County on Monday. She passed the teller a note, and then quickly pulled it back before nervously leaving the bank. The bank teller thought her behavior was odd and told security. Bank security obtained Gorhom’s license plate number, which was tracked to a rental company. Police found out from the rental company that there was a GPS installed in the vehicle. Detectives saw that around 4 p.m. Monday, the car was on East Broad Street near Victoria Jewelers.

On the evening of May 7, the U.S. Marshal’s Regional Fugitive Task Force arrested 24-year-old Paul L. Townes Jr., of the 1700 block of Chicago Avenue, without incident in Richmond. He has been charged with conspiracy to commit murder in connection with the case.

“Detectives would like to thank local and regional partners including the Henrico, Chesterfield and Roanoke Rapids, N.C. police departments and the U.S. Marshal’s Regional Fugitive Task Force for their cooperation in this case,” RPD Public Information Officer James Mercante wrote in an email.

ABC 8News Anchor/Reporter Ava-joye Burnett found out all three suspects have been in trouble with the law before. The trio has an extensive criminal history, and some of the crimes resemble what happened at Victoria Jewelers on Monday.

Edmond was convicted of grand larceny in Richmond and served three years in prison. Court records also show Lenard served five years in prison for robbery. In 2008, Gorhom was convicted of entering property with intent to damage in Henrico; she also pleaded guilty to forgery twice in Richmond.

Many people who live and work in the downtown area where Baig was murdered are unsettled by the crime.

“Really scary in this day and time,” said Carolyn Fawole, who works in the area. “There is no regard for life.”

Baig’s family and co-workers are also grief-stricken. Less than 24 hours after his murder, Baig’s wife gave birth to their second child, a baby girl. She was due next week.

Victoria Jewelers Owner Nazir Kamra says Baig was the backbone of his business, and that he worked at the store for seven years. Kamra never thought something like this could happen.

“He was like my son,” he said. “You can expect robberies, little robberies for something like this, but you can’t expect that someone would’ve shot him. Never.”

ABC 8News Reporter Tim Wronka spent time with Baig’s family and friends on Tuesday. One family friend said Baig was affectionately called “Sunny,” due to his warm and friendly nature.

“My own son is very humble and very innocent,” said Baig’s father, Muhammad Ayub.

Baig leaves behind his wife, a young son and a brand-new baby girl.

“I cannot believe he left us like that,” Kamra said. “He just had the baby five minutes ago.”

Baig was buried on Wednesday.

Anyone with information about this incident is encouraged to contact Metro Richmond Crime Stoppers by calling 804-780-1000 or texting “iTip” followed by the tip to 274637.

Stay with ABC 8News on air, online and on the go for updates on this developing story as they become available.

Copyright 2014 by Young Broadcasting of Richmond

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