Three Indicted in Murder of Richmond Jewelry Store Clerk

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) -Three people have been indicted in the May murder of a downtown Richmond jewelry store clerk, according to court documents.

Muhammad H. Baig, 29, was shot and killed while working inside Victoria Jewelers, located at 309 East Broad Street on May 5. 

Three of the four people arrested in the crime–Anthony Lenard, Paul Townes, Jr. and Jermeaka Gorham–were indicted on first-degree murder, robbery, conspiracy to commit robbery and use of a firearm charges.

Additionally, Lenard and Gorham are charged with possession and transportation of a firearm by a felon.

A fourth person could be indicted by month’s end, according to a prosecutor.

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 were 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 were grief-stricken after the murder. 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 said 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 shortly after the tragedy. 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 left behind his wife, a young son and a baby girl.
“I cannot believe he left us like that,” Kamra said. “He just had the baby five minutes ago.”

Copyright 2014 by Young Broadcasting of Richmond

Related Stories:

Richmond Police Arrest Fourth Suspect in Downtown Jewelry Store Murder

Henrico Father Killed in Jewelry Story Robbery

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