On Dec. 29, 2021, Kwentel Moultrie and Zaire Roberts set up a drug deal with Danial Marashi at Marashi’s parent’s home on Regent Lane in Palm Coast. Taylor Renee Manjarres, 19 at the time, joined Moultrie and Roberts.
The drug deal went wrong. Guns were drawn. Marashi shot and killed Roberts, and was himself wounded, apparently by Roberts. Marashi was not charged, other than that authorities needed his testimony in the case. He faces numerous separate, unrelated felony charges in Flagler and Volusia counties.
But because Roberts was killed dring the commission of a felony that Moultrie and Manjarres were carrying out, Moultrie and Manjarres were charged with Roberts’s killing, as a second degree murder. They were also charged with armed burglary. Both charges are punishable by up to life in prison. (See: “Resident Involved in Drug Deal Gone Bad Killed Zaire Roberts After Getting Shot, Reports Show.”)
This morning, Manjarres, 20, pleaded out. She will face between 10 and 20 years in prison when she is sentenced in September, after Moultrie’s trial.
The state has agreed to waive the minimum guidelines under the criminal punishment code,” Manjarres’s attorney, Jessica Damoth, told Circuit Judge Terence Perkins, “she will be sentenced to a term between 10 years and 20 years.” It’ll be up to Perkins to set the length of the sentence on September 26 at 1:30 p.m.
The plea terms for Manjarres are especially lenient. The key is in the wording of the plea deal: “I understand and agree that the previous statements I have provided to law enforcement on the dates listed below were true and accurate,” Manjarres attested, “and I further agree to provide truthful testimony consistent with the testimony previously given on these dates, if called upon by the State of Florida.”
In other words, Manjarres has turned state’s witness. That has serious implications for Moultrie. It may also have serious implications for Marashi, who is no longer as necessary to the state’s case as he previously was. That may not necessarily affect his status in this case, but it could affect the direction of his other cases.
The case against Manjarres is being prosecuted by Assistant State Attorney Jennifer Dunton, who is also prosecuting the Moultrie case.
Manjarres may offer testimony to the court when she is sentenced, which would shed further light on what too place that December 29. She does not have a prior criminal history. Because she is now a state’s witness, she was pulled out of the Flagler County jail, where she had been held on $400,000 bond since February 26, 2022. She was immediately transferred to the St. Johns County jail, for her protection. The time she has accumulated at the jail, and will continue to accumulate in St. Johns, will be credited to her sentence.
Moultrie remains at the Flagler jail. At the time of the R-Section incident, Moultrie was out on bond, on pre-trial release, acing a rape charge. He has since gone through two trials on that charge (his victim was 16), and was convicted the second time and sentenced to 10 years in prison. Before the first trial, and before the R Section incident, he had bene offered a plea that would have reduced the charge to child abuse and allowed him to avoid prison altogether, and serve just five years on probation. That offer disappeared after the incident.
He will face up to life in prison if convicted when he goes on trial on Sept. 11. He has declined to make most court appearances in pre-trial hearings. Moultrie is 24.
Zaire Roberts had gotten out of prison just weeks before the December 2021 incident, after serving a seven-year sentence for shooting Phillip Haire in the L-Section in 2015, when Roberts was 16. He was 24 when he was killed.