Nine years after Indian-American’s death, the alleged killer is indicted

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Jashavneal Patel was 54 when he was shot to death June 20, 2008, by someone attempting to rob the convenience store he owned in Davenport, Florida. His wife and children were still in India and could not attend his funeral. But close to 200 Indian-Americans gathered to mourn his loss at the ceremony in this town in Central Florida, according to a news report in The Ledger’s online edition.

Nine years later a suspect has been indicted. Thirty one year old Dreon Smith, against whom a grand jury had issued a sealed indictment in August, made his first appearance in court Oct. 10, according to the news report.

Smith, who is in prison on a 5 1/2 year sentence for a 2013 perjury conviction also relating to Patel’s death, has been charged with first-degree murder and attempted robbery with a firearm. The sealed indictment was unsealed Oct. 10, the news report said.

On that fateful day nine years ago, Patel was working in his store – Rightway Food Store and Citgo gas station, in Davenport, when he was shot and killed. He was found by a customer who hailed a police car. The death was considered as part of a robbery according to police, The Ledger reported.