Kwentell Moultrie, the 23-year-old Bunnell resident facing a first-degree rape charge involving a 16-year-old girl will go on trial for that charge, for the second time in four months, on Aug. 22.
Moultrie was tried on the charge in April. A jury could not reach a decision, and a mistrial was declared. He was scheduled for one last pre-trial conference next week ahead of the jury trial starting Aug. 22, barring a resolution before then. (See: “Mistrial in Case Against Kwentel Moultrie, Accused of Raping 16-Year-Old Girl, as Jury Deadlocks.”)
The alleged assault took place in the night of June 20 to June 21, 2019. Moultrie was 20 at the time. He claims, through his defense attorney, Assistant Public Defender Regina Nunnally, that it was consensual sex, not rape. If it is, Moultrie does not face statutory sex charge because he is within an age window that precludes the unlawful sex element.
The facts of the case are murky. They rely in large part on an alleged victim and a witness who were drunk at the time. The prosecution did not have the chief witness in the first trial: the alleged victim, who now lives in Maryland, declined to be a witness at trial. There was testimony during trial that described the alleged victim and the friend she was with at the time of the alleged assault as pass-out drunk. It’s not yet known whether she will take part in the re-trial.
For its case the prosecution relied on that friend as its principal witness. The friend was in the same bed as the alleged victim when the alleged assault occurred. So was Moultrie’s friend, another man. In other words, there were four people in the bed at the time, in the middle of the night. Moultrie and his friend had been partying with the girl and others in that house. Earlier that evening, they’d been drinking heavily, had gone to Steak and Shake (where Moultrie and his friend joined them), and there, the alleged victim was so drunk that she fell, struck her mouth on the side of a table, and chipped a tooth.
They partied more at the house. Then everyone left, including Moultrie and his friend. Then the alleged victim invited Moultrie back, opening the door for him and inviting him into the bedroom. She was not in her house, but in her friend’s sister’s house.
Her friend testified that she did not in fact witness the rape. She only woke up to the sound of her friend crying, and worrying she may have been assaulted. Yet in the meantime, both girls had been awake, with Moultrie and his friend in the bedroom, as the homeowner woke up and took her dog out for a walk. The homeowner testified that she saw both girls near their bedroom, and that the alleged victim did not appear to be upset.
Moultrie faces a first-degree felony, forcible rape charge, exposing him to 30 years in prison. It’s one of four felony charges he faces in three separate incidents.
The alleged rape took place in June 2019. He was out on bond when, at the end of last December, he was arrested on a second-degree felony murder charge, and an armed robbery charge, following a home invasion-robbery in Palm Coast’s R-Section. The alleged robbery of a man, Danial Marashi, who was later arrested for drug dealing went wrong. Moultrie was carrying it out with two accomplices. One of them, Zaire Roberts, was shot and killed by Marashi. Moultrie and his other accomplice, Taylor Renee Manjarres, were charged with murder because they were allegedly carrying the armed felony that led to Roberts’s death. That case was also on the docket this morning. It was pushed to later this summer or early fall for further proceedings.
The murder and robbery charge led to Moultrie’s bond getting revoked. It’s still revoked. While in jail, he was charged with yet another felony–battery of an inmate, in a dispute over the television remote control that turned violent. That case is also scheduled for trial in August.