Suspect pleads guilty in Chesterfield store clerk murder

Thomas Jennings III (Courtesy of Chesterfield Police)_526994

CHESTERFIELD, Va. (WRIC) — One of three men charged in the deadly shooting of a Chesterfield convenience store owner has pleaded guilty.

Thomas Jennings, III pleaded guilty to second-degree murder Thursday. Jennings also agreed to testify against the other two men charged in the case, shooter Trayvon Wilhite and his younger brother, Tyquise Wilhite. Jennings will serve 12 years and 11 months in prison for his conviction.

In January 2016, 55-year-old Harshad Patel was shot and killed during a convenience store robbery gone wrong.

Tyquise Wilhite will serve no jail time, despite pleading guilty to 2nd-degree murder and attempted robbery in December. Tyquise was 14-years-old at the time of the shooting.

Trayvon Wilhite previously pleaded guilty to first-degree murder, attempted robbery, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony and conspiracy to commit robbery. He was sentenced last year to serve 40 years in prison.

Surveillance video from the scene shows Trayvon pulling the trigger. He told police during an interview that he was high on LSD at the time of the crime and thought Patel was reaching for a gun.

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