Not guilty: Three charged in robbery, shooting that killed Waukesha gas station clerk make plea

WAUKESHA (WITI) — Three people arrested and charged in connection with a fatal shooting that occurred at the Citgo gas station in Waukesha have pleaded not guilty.

20-year-old Kenneth Thomas, 28-year-old Darrin Malone and 23-year-old Jerica Cotton appeared in court on Wednesday, March 18th.

Kenneth Thomas, Jerica Cotton, Darrin Malone

They are charged in connection with the January 13th shooting that killed 65-year-old gas station clerk Saeed Sharwani of Brookfield.

Thomas faces the following charges:

    Cotton and Malone are charged with felony murder.

    Police arrested Thomas, a convicted felon, in West Allis less than 10 hours after the shooting. Cotton was also quickly apprehended. Darrin Malone, however, was on the run until February 23rd -- more than a month after the shooting.

    Saeed Sharwani (Photo: Waukesha PD Facebook page)

    Saeed Sharwani was working at the gas station near Whiterock Avenue and Moreland Boulevard in Waukesha on January 13th when he was fatally shot during an armed robbery.

    Investigators believe Thomas fired the shot that killed Sharwani.

    Police say Malone went into the gas station on the night of the robbery/fatal shooting -- following behind Thomas. Cotton, police say, was the getaway driver.

    According to the criminal complaint, Malone supplied the masks that were used in the crime. Thomas told police "Malone was behind him (when they walked into the gas station) and that the clerk started freaking out and so did he. Thomas stated that the clerk ran out as he climbed over the counter. Thomas stated that the clerk then came around and grabbed him and the next thing he knew, the gun went off." The complaint indicates that Malone asked Thomas "if he did it on purpose and Thomas said no."

    Thomas also told police he and Malone had committed several other robberies -- including a liquor store, bank, a gas station and a store.

    Malone was arrested at a residence in the 4000 block of North 48th Street in Milwaukee at approximately 2:30pm February 23rd. He was taken into custody without incident.

    Police believe Thomas and his accomplices were involved in at least six robberies in four jurisdictions. Their crime spree touched the communities of West Allis, Milwaukee, the Town of Brookfield and the city of Waukesha.

    Thomas and Cotton have court hearings scheduled for April 20th, and Malone is set to be in court on April 10th.