Judge grants death penalty in convenience store murder

May. 21, 2014 @ 07:26 PM

The cases against two men charged in the murder a 51-year-old Yemeni gas station clerk were declared capital Wednesday in Vance County Superior Court.

Superior Court Judge Paul C. Ridgeway accepted the prosecution’s motion to seek the death penalty in the state’s first-degree murder cases against Daiquan Jameek Waddell and Marvin Hargrove Jr.

The men are charged with shooting and killing Ahmed Shahit while attempting to rob the Henderson BP station on Raleigh Road.

Assistant District Attorney Allison Capps said it has been the practice of the district attorney’s office for the 9th Judicial District to seek the death penalty in a store robbery where the clerk was killed.

“It fits within the definition of an aggravated circumstance as prescribed by North Carolina law and is certainly appropriate in Waddell and Hargrove’s cases, as well as similar capital cases throughout our district,” she said Wednesday.

Waddell, 18, of 1828 S. Clearview Drive, and Marvin Hargrove Jr., 25, of 123 S. Cooper Drive, were arrested in March on charges of first-degree murder, robbery with a dangerous weapon and second-degree kidnapping.

Boyd Sturges is representing Waddell, and David Waters is the attorney for Hargrove.

Sturges said he intends to proceed with the case.

“At this point, my client has pleaded not guilty,” he said Wednesday.

As of press time, efforts to reach Waters were unsuccessful.

Capps said the two defendants will both receive an additional attorney, which is standard in death penalty cases.

Waddell has also been charged with three counts of robbery with a dangerous weapon relating to the robbery reported at the Raleigh Road Convenient Mart on March 11 and two robberies reported at the Waffle House, 942 W. Andrews Ave., Henderson, on March 13 and 18.

He is scheduled to appear in Vance County Superior Court on July 1. Hargrove is set to appear July 22.

Hargrove’s brother Dontrell Jaquan Hargrove, 22, of 464 Skenes Ave., was also arrested as a suspect in connection with the shooting.

He faces charges of robbery with a dangerous weapon and one count of accessory after the fact to first-degree murder.

Capps, who is prosecuting the three cases, said he is set to appear in court on July 1.

 

Contact the writer at smansur@hendersondispatch.com.