Teen charged with Chesterfield store clerk’s murder expected to accept plea deal

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Back in January, 55-year-old Harshad Patel was shot and killed at a convenience store he owned with his wife off of Walmsley Boulevard. The man charged in his death, Trayvon Wilhite, is expected to plead guilty in Chesterfield Circuit Court Thursday.

Surveillance video helped police track down the suspects, including Wilhite, who they told could clearly be seen shooting Patel.

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According to court records of a transcribed interview Wilhite did with police, the murder was merely a robbery gone wrong.

“So I go in the store. Point the gun at him – tell him to empty the register. He is backing up, reaching for something. I think he had a gun or something,” Wilhite said.

Wilhite told detectives he has a hard time remembering other details. When asked if the robbery was planned or who he was with, he told police he was high on drugs.

“I was high on acid. So I am not sure,” Wilhite said.

Wilhite tells officers he had no idea Patel, the father of twins, had children.

“I just want to let ya’ll know the shot was not intentional,” he said.

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Wilhite repeatedly asked about his 14-year-old little brother who was with him at the store that night. He told detectives his brother had nothing to do with it.

Towards the end of the interview, Wilhite had a realization about the consequences of his crime.

“I’m going to jail for life, I’m 19 years old,” he said.

Wilhite has been charged with first-degree murder, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, attempted robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery. We do not have details of the plea agreement which takes place Thursday morning at 9 a.m. at this time.

The other two suspects involved, Trayvon’s little brother Tyqise Wilhite, and Thomas Jennings have court dates later this month.

This is a developing story. Stay with 8News online and on air for the latest updates.

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