Murder trial in 2015 Masters Drive shooting to begin next week as scheduled

After hearings on two last-minute motions Wednesday, the murder trial for one of two teens accused in the May 2015 shooting death of a St. Augustine convenience store clerk is set to begin next week.


Sergio Demario Morgan-Wideman, 17, is facing one count each of first-degree murder and robbery with a firearm and two counts of aggravated asault with a firearm in the incident that left 29-year-old Malav Desai dead at the Tobacco & Beverage Express on Masters Drive.

Morgan-Wideman was indicted on the charges in June 2015, just days before his 16th birthday

Assistant State Attorney Mark Johnson and defense attorney Raymond Warren, with the Public Defender’s Office, both told Circuit Judge Howard Maltz after Wednesday morning’s hearings that they expect the two sides can get a jury selected by the end of the day Monday and proceed to trial on Tuesday.

That is the timeline Maltz assumed earlier this week when he originally scheduled the trial.

The only question left at that time was whether an anticipated motion from the defense could further delay things.

By Wednesday, Rosemarie Peoples, the lead attorney on the case for the Public Defender’s Office, had filed two motions regarding the exclusion or admissability of certain evidence and testimony, but Maltz’s rulings on the those motions after the morning’s hearings don’t appear as though they will affect the planned schedule.

Both sides have said they expect the trial will be done by the end of the week.

Andre Jerome Robinson Jr., a co-defendant in the case who was 16 at the time of the shooting, is facing charges of first-degree murder and robbery with a firearm in connection with Desai’s death. He was indicted in September 2015.

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