The trial for a 17-year-old man accused of beating and robbing a Tyler convenience store owner was reset to July 24 when prosecutors learned that the victimized store owner had unexpectedly returned to his native Pakistan.
Judge Jack Skeen Jr. was sympathetic when he learned that Kazir Kazmi, the store owner, left the United States with a pending trial date because his brother died in Pakistan from a heart attack. But Skeen told Smith County Assistant District Attorney Jason Parrish on Tuesday that he would release Jamon Nicholas Taylor on a personal recognizance bond if the victim did not return by July 24.
Parrish told the judge that the victim never told prosecutors he was leaving the country.
Taylor, of Tyler, was set to go on trial Tuesday in the Smith County 241st District Court on charges of robbery and engaging in organized criminal activity. He remained Tuesday in the Smith County Jail on bonds totaling $550,000.
Two of the robbers confronted the owner behind the counter and beat him to the ground with their fists, while the others grabbed packs of cigarettes, Martin said in January.
“He's a little shaken up by the ordeal, but not seriously injured,” Martin said at the time.
He identified the other suspects as Steven Ray Sadler, 18; Michael Avory Hayles, 17; and Prince Kentrell Hull, 18.
Sadler was in the Smith County Jail on Tuesday on bonds totaling $805,000 on charges of robbery, evading arrest and engaging in organized criminal activity. Hayles, 18, was jailed on charges of robbery and engaging in organized criminal activity on bonds totaling $550,000, and Hull, 19, also was jailed on robbery and engaging in organized criminal activity charges on bonds totaling $550,000.
Kazmi's 16-year-old son, Ali Kazmi, testified that his father had indeed left Tyler because of his uncle's death, and that his father, along with other family members, was planning to move back to Pakistan in August. The younger Kazmi testified that although he would be moving temporarily to Pakistan with his family, he will return to the U.S. to attend school.
Parrish said in court that investigators from the District Attorney's Office went to where the convenience store was located Monday and saw that it had closed, and most of the merchandise had been removed from shelves.