14-year-old charged in Chesterfield convenience store owner’s murder to be tried as an adult

Harshad Patel (Photos courtesy the Patel family)

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — One of the three teens charged in the murder of a Chesterfield convenience store owner appeared in court Thursday. 8News also learned Thursday that one of the other suspects, a 14-year-old, will be tried as an adult.

At a court hearing Thursday, 19-year-old Trayvon M. Wilhite had his charges certified to go before a grand jury. Wilhite, of the 4200 block of Cedardale Lane, was arrested on January 12 and is charged with first-degree murder, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, attempted robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery.

Trayvon M. Wilhite (Photo: Chesterfield Police)
Trayvon M. Wilhite (Photo: Chesterfield Police)

Wilhite’s case will now move from the Chesterfield General District Court and into the Circuit Court. His next court date has yet to be set.

Investigators say Wilhite fired the shot that killed Harshad V. Patel.

Harshad Patel (Photos courtesy the Patel family)
Harshad Patel (Photos courtesy the Patel family)

Thomas L. Jennings III, 18, was scheduled to appear Thursday but had his preliminary hearing continued until April 14.

On January 11, police found Patel unconscious in his store, The Marketplace on Walmsley Boulevard near Turner Road. The 55-year-old later died at the hospital.

Jennings, of the 6900 block of Able Road, turned himself into police after surveillance images were released to the public. He was arrested and charged with principle in the second degree to murder in the second degree, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, attempted robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery in relation to the incident. At last check, Jennings was being held at the Chesterfield County Jail without bond.

Thomas L. Jennings III, 18 (Courtesy of Chesterfield Police)
Thomas L. Jennings III, 18 (Courtesy of Chesterfield Police)

A 14-year-old was also arrested and charged with murder in the second degree, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, attempted robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery in connection with the case. The juvenile is being held at the Chesterfield County Juvenile Detention Home and will be tried as an adult when his case goes to trial.

Police continue to seek the fourth suspect. This suspect was described by police as a black male wearing a hooded sweatshirt and a black ski mask.

Anyone with information should contact the Chesterfield County Police Department at 804-748-1251 or Crime Solvers at 804-748-0660 or online at www.crimesolvers.net.

Stay with 8News for updates to this developing story. Click here to check on crime in your area.

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