Trial For Teen Charged In Beating To Start
By DAYNA WORCHEL
The trial for a 17-year-old charged with beating a Tyler convenience store owner in the face and robbing him of cigarettes will begin Wednesday morning in the Smith County 241st District Court.
The case for Jamon Nicholas Taylor, of Tyler, had been set to begin two weeks ago, but was delayed because the store owner, Kazir Kazmi, returned to his native Pakistan without telling the district attorney's office, prosecutors said. Kazmi's brother died unexpectedly from a heart attack in Pakistan, Smith County Assistant District Attorney Jason Parrish said July 10.
Kazmi has returned to the U.S., according to information received from Judge Jack Skeen Jr.'s office. Skeen told Parrish two weeks ago that if Kazmi did not return, that he would release Taylor on a personal recognizance bond.
Taylor is charged with engaging in organized criminal behavior and remains in the Smith County jail on a $550,000 bond.
The robbery took place Jan. 27 at the Conoco convenience store at Van Highway and West Gentry Parkway, Don Martin, Tyler police spokesman, said.
According to the February arrest affidavit for Taylor, the defendant "while in the course of committing theft of property and with intent to obtain or maintain control of said property, intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly caused bodily injury to Nazir Kazmi by striking Kazmi in the face with his fist and then stealing ...
cigarettes ... as a member of a criminal street gang."
Martin identified three other suspects in the robbery as Steven Ray Sadler, 18; Michael Avory Hayles, 17; and Prince Kentrell Hull, 18.
Sadler is 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, is jailed on charges of robbery and engaging in organized criminal activity on bonds totaling $550,000, and Hull, 19, is jailed on robbery and engaging in organized criminal activity charges on bonds totaling $550,000.