Circuit Judge Terence Perkins today set April 8 as the trial date for Marcus Chamblin, one of two defendants facing a first-degree murder charge in the October 12, 2019 murder of Deon O’Neal Jenkins and an attempted murder charge in the shooting of a second victim, whose name authorities have not released. The shooting took place in the parking lot of the Circle K gas station and convenience store on Palm Coast Parkway, off of Belle Terre Parkway.
Derrius Braxton Bauer faces identical charges. He is scheduled for docket sounding, the last step before trial, at the end of March. But Chamblin and Bauer would be tried separately. The State Attorney announced in 2021 that it would not seek the death penalty against either man. Chamblin and Bauer face life in prison if convicted.
Chamblin and Bauer, both 29, have been at the Flagler County jail since their arrest in early January 2021, following a 15-month investigation by the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office–one of the most extensive murder investigations in the agency’s history. Chamblin and Bauer went to school in Flagler County. The investigation took detectives across the country. Chamblin and Bauer immediately drove to Palatka after the shooting, then drove north toward Virginia. They were stopped by police in South Carolina, but not arrested.
Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly at the time of their arrests said drugs had not played a role in the shooting. Chamblin’s arrest report instead points to petty motives of hurt feelings, anger and retaliation. Chamblin’s brother, D’Shawn Hosang, had been with Jenkins before the shooting. Hosang had kicked Jenkins out of his house. The two men got into a fight. That had enraged Chamblin who, according to a witness, said he would kill Jenkins.
Either the night before the shooting or the morning of the shooting, Chamblin and Bauer rented a motel room at the Palm Coast Red Roof Inn on Kingswood Drive. Days earlier, Bauer had circulated a picture on social media of what his arrest report described as a “compact AK patterned firearm” later tied to a “Mini Draco,” whose shell casings were found at the Circle K parking lot. Sixteen shell casings were recovered, all from the same weapon.
Chamblin and Bauer were eventually arrested in Clay County on unrelated warrants, though by then Flagler County detectives had determined that they were the suspects in the shooting. Bauer and Chamblin were found with clothing and shoes that matched the sort of items detectives had noted in a mosaic of surveillance footage from near the Circle K station. Detectives also recovered the two men’s cell phones, which proved key in the investigation. The phones documented numerous texts and images, among them texts that documented Chamblin trying to sell a “stick,” the common terminology for an AK-47 assault weapon, on Oct. 16, in Virginia to someone code named “Scorp,” and later identified as “Ray Charles.”
The Sheriff’s Office in 2021 released a brief video of someone walking to the side of the car in which Jenkins and the other victim were sitting, from about two parking spaces away, and firing more than a dozen times in quick succession. (See below.)
Bauer and Chamblin have each accumulated over 1,000 days of jail credit, though that time would be irrelevant if they are sentenced to life terms. The trial is expected to take four days. Assistant State Attorneys Mark Johnson and Jason Lewis are prosecuting the case. Chamblin is represented by Terence Lenamon, who said he may file a few motions before trial. Unusually, and aside from motions related to costs of transcripts, pre-trial motions have been few. Deposition lists suggest that dozens of law enforcement officers and others are potential witnesses.
Numerous other cases were scheduled for docket sounding this morning, among them the case of Marshall Thomas, the now 17-year-old former Matanzas High School student facing a second degree felony molestation charge involving a minor girl, and charges of grand theft of a firearm stemming from a subsequent case. Thomas posted bond and went to live in Wisconsin last year, but was arrested in December and has been held at a Wisconsin jail without bond on charges of distributing child porn (he had solicited the images from local teen girls, then circulated the image at the girls’ high school.)
Assistant State Attorney melissa Clark in mid-December filed a motion to revoke Thomas’s bond, based on his new charges in Wisconsin. Perkins agreed. He signed a warrant for Thomas’s return to Flagler County. But there was some confusion today as to where that warrant was to be served. “There’s a suggestion of metal incompetency,” Thomas’s attorney, Matt Maguire, told the court today, with Thomas possibly going to a mental health facility for treatment.
All that leaves unclear Thomas’s trial status in Flagler County, where no suggestion of incompetence has been filed, and where he is scheduled to be tried. While he has appeared in court from jail before–as when he was held at a juvenile jail in Duval County–he made no appearance today.