Jail Time

A teenager who pleaded guilty to killing Indian American convenience store owner Harshad Patel (above) has received no additional jail time, according to reports. (family photo)

A teenager will spend no additional time behind bars, despite pleading guilty in the shooting death of an Indian American convenience store owner in Chesterfield, Va.

Tyqise Wilhite, 16, received a 50-year sentence for his involvement in the January 2016 death of Marketplace convenience store owner Harshad Patel. All 50 years have been suspended, according to a WTVR CBS 6 report.

Wilhite was 14 at the time of the shooting. Police in January 2016 arrested Thomas L. Jennings III, 20; Wilhite, and his older brother Trayvon M. Wilhite, 21, in connection with the Jan. 11, 2016 murder of the 55-year-old Patel (see India-West article here).

Surveillance video shows Jennings entering the Marketplace #21 convenience store first, followed by Trayvon Wilhite with a pistol in hand. The single shot taken went through Patel’s right arm and through his chest, fracturing a rib and penetrating the upper lobe of his lung before slicing a major artery that supplies blood to the right arm. Patel was found by a customer who arrived later to buy lottery tickets.

The older Wilhite, whom police investigators determined fired the fatal shot, has already been sentenced to 40 years for first degree murder in Patel's death (see India-West article here).

Last year, Trayvon Wilhite entered an Alford plea, which means he does not admit guilt, but acknowledges there is enough evidence from the prosecution to get a conviction, the WTVR report said.

In an interview with detectives obtained by WTVR, Wilhite told police he never intended to shoot anyone, and it had been a robbery gone wrong. He said he was high on acid when it happened, and he did not remember pulling the trigger.

Jennings is still waiting to go to trial.

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