Murder trial in 2015 Masters Drive shooting scheduled for next week; hearing scheduled for Wednesday

One of two teenagers charged with murder in the May 2015 shooting death of a St. Augustine convenience store clerk will go on trial next week barring any delays from a last-minute motion defense attorneys signalled would be coming.


Circuit Judge Howard Maltz, in a Monday morning court session, scheduled the case against Sergio Demario Morgan-Wideman to go to trial immediately after a March 20 jury selection date.

Morgan-Wideman was indicted in June 2015 — just days before his 16th birthday — on a single count of first-degree murder for the shooting death of Malav Desai, a 29-year-old clerk at Tobacco &Beverage Express on Masters Drive. He is also facing two counts of aggravated assault with a firearm and a single count of robbery with a firearm.

A co-defendant in that case, Andre Jerome Robinson Jr., who was 16 at the time of the shooting, was indicted in September 2015 on charges of first-degree murder and robbery with a firearm.

His case is currently scheduled for jury selection in May with an April 11 hearing scheduled in the interim.

Morgan-Wideman will also have one more hearing before his case goes to a jury.

Attorney Raymond Warren, with the Public Defender’s Office, told Maltz on Monday that he and lead defense attorney Rosemarie Peoples — who was not present — had at least one more motion they needed to file before the trial.

“Can you give me a time frame on when you anticipate filing this?” Maltz asked.

“Hopefully this afternoon,” Warren said.

As of Monday afternoon that motion was not on file with the St. Johns County Clerk of Courts.

Maltz agreed to schedule a Wednesday morning hearing for that motion, but left the case set for jury selection.

Warren and Assistant State Attorney Mark Johnson both agreed the trial was expected to last about a week.

“I am anticipating two days for witnesses, maybe half of a third day,” Johnson said. “I think we should get well within a week.”