Three Charged After Clerk Killed During Convenience Store Robbery In Escambia County

February 20, 2019

An attempted convenience store robbery turned deadly Tuesday night in Escambia County, and now three suspects are in custody.

Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan identified the victim as store clerk Govardhan Kotha, 50. He was shot about 8:15 p.m. at the Quick Fill on Mobile Highway near Lockhart Street. The  Sheriff’s Office responded to a robbery call and arrived to find Kotha deceased at the store with gunshot wounds.

Efidarius Gemeateus Bryant, 29, was charged with felony murder and conspiracy to commit robbery. He is believed to be the shooter,according to Morgan. He is seen in a mask with a gun in surveillance video. Keandra Martez Smith, 23, is also charged with felony murder and conspiracy to commit robbery. He entered the store first  to “case the joint” according to Chip Deputy Chip Simmons. Both are being held without bond in the Escambia County Jail.

Crystal Elaine Clausell, 33, was charged with conspiracy to commit robbery and is being held on a $100,000 bond.

“Their days of freedom in Escambia County are over,” Simmons said.

The incident was captured on surveillance video, and no additional suspects are wanted, Simmons said.

Kotha was scheduled to travel from Escambia County Thursday to attend his daughter’s wedding, Morgan said.

Comments

63 Responses to “Three Charged After Clerk Killed During Convenience Store Robbery In Escambia County”

  1. Stumpknocker on February 22nd, 2019 4:03 pm

    @Ash, ok so how much was your ticket for or what is it you wanted and didn’t get? They don’t line up for traffic enforcement, they hide. And Ash how do you know that their presence alone while at a convenient store didn’t stop a robbery from occurring? It’s very hard to measure exactly what a law enforcement has done through out the day because one never knows what they may have prevented by just being there. But like the other poster said go become one. Everyone wants drugs off the street but as soon as someone get sentenced people say it’s to harsh, so really no deterrent.

  2. Really on February 21st, 2019 10:50 pm

    Ash. You are a moron. Tax season?? The local sheriff’s and police receive fractions of cents for tickets issued. They are issued to correct behavior and save lives. And oh my!!! You see a deputy eating? How horrible! They should eat and pee before or after their ten plus hour shift. You need an education in what law enforcement is about. You also need to realize there is no way to prevent random acts of violence. I encourage you to do a ride a long, or better yet become a cop. I doubt you are qualified though.

  3. Wilykyote on February 21st, 2019 6:04 pm

    Bout midnight give-em a helicopter ride out
    100 miles in Gulf…push-em out @ 50 ft up.

  4. lone chief on February 21st, 2019 4:48 pm

    “You don’t know” this store had a very good video system. The whole incident is on the recordings so I understand. Yes we all make mistakes but when not held accountable chaos reigns. They ARE going to get a trial. Don’t really have to..but it would be the best thing. An execution can cost as little as 25 cents. They have to make a science project out of on of these easiest things to do. And you can do it mercifully and quickly. Look up the 1st Law in Genesis, (hint: around the time of Noah) dozens of generations before Moses and the other laws. I agree with death penalty for this one for sure, at least for the males, the female can spend the rest of her life elsewhere.

  5. tg on February 21st, 2019 4:10 pm

    AC you are right give them all the Alternating Current.

  6. Jennifer Baldwin on February 21st, 2019 2:55 pm

    I’ve lived 2.5 miles from Quick Fill on & off for 17 yrs now and go there almost every single day sometimes a couple of times a day otw to work or wherever and to just visit with smileyTeddy Reddy for a few… There’s 4 other gas stations in my area and otw home but I enjoyed seeing smiley and hearing his genuine love and excitement of the memories he made with his wife and kids traveling so that was my favorite gas station. He had kind eyes and a beautiful soul and showed everyone respect and genuine kindness. He worked hard and long hrs… I had just seen him about two hrs prior to his cold blooded passing and he was telling me how excited he was about his daughters wedding

  7. David Huie Green on February 21st, 2019 1:53 pm

    REGARDING:
    “You dont know if MR.Smith really did the robbery. He wasnt the one with the gun!”
    and
    “His actions precipitated the death of an innocent man and he shares all blame.”

    James is right.

    Those knowingly involved in causing a murder are murderers just as much as if they physically committed the murder. Think of those who hire hit men.

    David for responsibility
    and its recognition

  8. Bloodthirst on February 21st, 2019 11:36 am

    Yes–let’s make killing people a public spectacle because it will stop these crimes.

    Because it has worked so well in the past.

    Be honest–you want vengeance & retribution, but Romans 12:17-19…

  9. Stumpknocker on February 21st, 2019 11:34 am

    @You don’t know, people like you and your way of thinking is why the country is in the shape it’s in. It’s no mistake by any stretch to conspire to commit an armed robbery. It’s no mistake to point a gun at someone and pull the trigger, taking another’s life for money. All those are done with intent and absolutely no regard for anyone else either. To bad a CCW citizen was there. These 3 are absolutely the lowest life of the human race.

  10. Ash on February 21st, 2019 10:44 am

    Took a life for some change. Smh this poor guy lost his life and his daughters wedding ruined because some little drugged up thug thought he was a badass. So now he’s gone forever, daddy doesn’t get to walk his daughter down the isle because these p.o.s. Won’t be taken off the streets and nobody will get them help for drug addiction. I really wish ECSO would do more to clean up this area. Mayfair needs to be circled more often. I live here and watched them line up NINE sheriffs vehicles on my road that night. They need to be doing more about the crime around here instead of worrying about traffic violations because it’s tax season. Too many people losing lives in this area over drugs. Can’t do anything when they are lounging at Dunkin Doughnuts on Mobile hwy or sitting in the mobile hwy Waffle House chillin with a coworker. I’ve called fdle about a guy that’s clearly selling drugs off Fairfield when I have an Autistic child living next door which puts my child in danger of bullets spread if a deal goes wrong and they’ve yet to do anything about it.

  11. Mike J. on February 21st, 2019 10:23 am

    @Alan, the reason for the high cost of the death penalty is the long time of appeals for twenty years etc and the cost of prison during that time. IF execution was swift, in 5 years or less, and the fees paid to appeal lawyers were less, then the cost of execution would be a lot less.

    EVERY convicted murderer should be executed in a manner similar to how they killed their victims. In this case, when convicted, he should be executed by firing squad!

  12. MR REALITY on February 21st, 2019 9:41 am

    DJC, you are dealing with animals WITHOUT A CONSCIENCE…..

  13. MR REALITY on February 21st, 2019 9:38 am

    Lock them up and toss the key away.

  14. Bewildered on February 21st, 2019 9:30 am

    Alan, the death penalty in its present form is no deterrent. Why would it be? sitting comfortably in a cell with everything provided for at the expense of taxpayers for 40 years is nothing to be afraid of. I think most of the comments want a swift execution of these monsters. I beg to differ with you – if a person convicted of murder would immediately face a firing squad – it would bring about a drastic drop in these heinous crimes. Will that ever happen again in this country? NO – it generates too much money for attorneys and public officials to keep us in this status quo. Peoples’ lives and safety don’t mean squat to our elected officials, they live in their glass palaces where money and power is king.

  15. James on February 21st, 2019 9:15 am

    @ You Don’t Know – Mr. Smith is just as guilty of murder. He scouted the store ahead of the robbery, gave his partner the go ahead, and re-entered the store as backup to the shooter. He was part of the robbery and every event that took place. He shared in the proceeds, and fled with the shooter. His actions precipitated the death of an innocent man and he shares all blame.

  16. Darrel Hammac on February 21st, 2019 12:07 am

    On the “death penalty”. Yes, the penalty is expensive. That is because those given the penalty rarely receive it in a timely manner. If someone is guilty beyond a shadow of doubt, why do we house them in our prisons for years? If there is “no doubt” take them to a hospital and harvest all organs and fluids that would benefit those on long donor lists. Think of all those lives that could be saved. Heart, liver, kidney, lung transplants. Bone marrow. Harvest these and free up space in our prisons for lesser crimes. Saves space, tax payer dollars, no food expense, no medical, no cable t.v. At least these criminals could do some good for someone after all the pain they caused…….Just saying

  17. You dont know on February 20th, 2019 10:55 pm

    You guys are so quick to judge. You dont know if MR.Smith really did the robbery. He wasnt the one with the gun! Just pray for Everyone and forgive we all Make mistakes.

  18. J.Larry Seale on February 20th, 2019 10:01 pm

    A public hanging would put a stop to
    this kind of crime……
    PLAIN AND SIMPLE……………

  19. Wendy on February 20th, 2019 9:46 pm

    This man was kind and hard working. I just can’t understand this senseless act. I just want his family to know he did impact our community in a positive way and we are so sorry for their loss.

  20. Alan on February 20th, 2019 9:41 pm

    From the comments here, this sounded like a wonderful person. I am sorry for his loss to our community and his family.

    There are a number of comments on here about the death penalty. One person stated, “if you execute murderers these things will cease to happen among you”. This makes no sense as Florida already has the death penalty and this still happened.
    Studies have shown that that the death penalty has little to no effect on the crimes it is put in place to stop.

    I have no issue whatsoever with the death penalty except one. It cost a fortune to implement while doing nothing to prevent the crime from happening.

  21. billy on February 20th, 2019 9:08 pm

    if you execute murderers these things “will cease to happen among you”

  22. Bryan on February 20th, 2019 7:55 pm

    Death Penalty!If there was ever a time for it it’s now!

  23. Williewonka on February 20th, 2019 7:42 pm

    I agree with Bewildered!!! Great job again by ECSO arresting these street rats.

  24. steve on February 20th, 2019 7:01 pm

    Public hanging needs to be a common event…PERIOD

  25. Brenda B on February 20th, 2019 7:00 pm

    I am heartbroken and outraged!!! Such a nice person, always actually smiled at me like he meant it…. So sad

  26. Timothy Pylant on February 20th, 2019 6:21 pm

    Reddy was a good man and I considered him friend. Gave him a ride to work alot and picked him back up. We would talk about everything. R.I.P. REDDY. YOU WILL BE GREATLY MISSED.

  27. William2 on February 20th, 2019 6:00 pm

    Escambia County lost a terrific citizen last night and it’s a shame. This man came here to make his dream come true and lost his life, because of someone else’s greed.

    Mr. Kotha was a caring, generous man, I witnessed his generosity many times. He may not have been a man of very many words but he was one of the most outstanding people I’ve ever met, I’m praying for his family to find peace.

  28. lone chief on February 20th, 2019 4:20 pm

    So much for the American Dream. Mr Kotha was such a great, straitup, nicest guy. I pray for his family. Enough of these murderous types. Prosecute the men to the max! Death Penalty and actually carry it out…very soon!!

  29. Whisperjet on February 20th, 2019 3:33 pm

    ..WAY TO GO LEO’S…THANK GOD THEY ARE OFF THE STREET..

  30. John on February 20th, 2019 3:26 pm

    Culture of Violence

  31. Joseph O on February 20th, 2019 3:16 pm

    I met Mr Reddy when I was 15 years old, I’m 23 now and live in the neighborhood behind his store. Mr Reddy would give my daughter candy for free and come to our house on occasion, He was a good man and deserves justice. Damn these people for there negligence and lack of human compassion. I hope they all pay.

  32. Well on February 20th, 2019 3:01 pm

    @Greg
    I’m with your statement. No consequences any more. No I dont believe locked up is a consequence for such a crime.

    If found guilty, Hang them at the gas pumps.

  33. Phyllis Blazier on February 20th, 2019 2:16 pm

    Time to go back to hanging on the courthouse lawn!!

  34. AC on February 20th, 2019 1:29 pm

    Need to fire up “ol’ Sparky” again!

  35. Sheree on February 20th, 2019 1:19 pm

    Reddy will be greatly missed! #JUSTICEFORREDDY

  36. terri on February 20th, 2019 1:08 pm

    hope they get the death penalty…looks like they took it upon themselves to do a death penalty on a innocent person, the same should be done to them…maybe that will stop some privileged criminals from shooting the innocent …not fair to the victims for killers to life and a free lunch forever.

  37. ? on February 20th, 2019 12:32 pm

    Daniel what does this story have to do with ABC & BLM? Just was wondering?

  38. Amanda on February 20th, 2019 12:16 pm

    I live right around the corner. Always went to my neighborhood store. He was a very nice man. This is messed up

  39. Debra Montgomery on February 20th, 2019 11:49 am

    This is just so sad. I am pure sickened this morning seeing this. He was a hard working man. I’m so glad they are in custody and off our streets. It’s time for Florida to start putting these people to death. This is a viloent murder that man didn’t deserve to die. God bless him and his family.

  40. Eso on February 20th, 2019 11:38 am

    Took this clerks life over nothing the only thing to say now is find them and kill them like the rabid animals they are. Then justice will have been served.

  41. anne 1of2 on February 20th, 2019 11:37 am

    These clerks need to be behind bullet proof glass! Yes, it is possible, my mother worked behind the glass in another state. Convenience store doesn’t mean make it easy to kill!

  42. Princess trina on February 20th, 2019 11:27 am

    Fly high Reddy so sad you will be missed I hope these men rot in hell for what they did.

  43. Taylon on February 20th, 2019 10:45 am

    I go here all the time since I live nearby. I was going to get gas there this morning morning while taking my daughter to school and thought it was weird that the store was closed. Then before we got to school we heard on the radio that this had happened.

    No amount of money they could have gotten was worth killing over. Just too many psychos in the world these days *sigh*

  44. Riah hurst on February 20th, 2019 10:30 am

    Mann That’s Crazy I Only Seen U One Time & You Communicate With A Big Ass Smile You Will Be Missed By A lot Rest Up

  45. Vickie on February 20th, 2019 10:25 am

    I wonder if the dollar general has video of him since the stores are so close?

  46. Member of society on February 20th, 2019 10:09 am

    Carry people……..or be carried.

  47. Daniel on February 20th, 2019 10:07 am

    That’s why its good to know your “ABC’s” like BLM and that’s why I CCW and have good situational awareness. Sad for this man and his family. I too have buried a family member who suffered the same fate. I agree with Naomi.

  48. DJC on February 20th, 2019 9:50 am

    I will never understand how one could live with themselves after taking an innocent life for nothing. :(

  49. Terry Hargrove on February 20th, 2019 9:46 am

    Notice that the gunman has fire arm discipline . He has been formerly trained in firearms because he has his finger off the trigger and down the length of the barrel. I’m curious if he is the one who did the shooting because he is also cautious and covered up to protect his identity. The other one is brazen and careless and could care less. I do t see him with a weapon but most likely he has one . I hope they catch these guys soon.

  50. retired on February 20th, 2019 8:57 am

    prayers to the family.
    unfortunatly they will be well taken care of in prison, for many, many years!!!!!!!!

    They had such a hard life going up or drugs made me do it or i was abused, ECT……

  51. Whisperjet on February 20th, 2019 8:39 am

    ..hopefully, these guys are local and they will be picked up soon..I am afraid they are just passing thru , or they may just be really stupid. GOD bless the clerk and his family..no excuse for this heinous killing…we need to go back to public executions for scum like these two..

  52. Karen on February 20th, 2019 8:19 am

    Ah Matt it is two different people so yes you missed something did you not read the article it clearly states that they are looking for two people.

  53. Klondike Kid on February 20th, 2019 8:03 am

    I am sorry for this family’s loss , he always seemed like a nice man. When I was a boy in old Klondike , these things didn’t happen . A concerned citizen would’ve caught these perps before they got a hundred yards & likely administered justice on the spot. Different times we live in now.

  54. Naomi on February 20th, 2019 7:40 am

    This is why clerks should be allowed to ccw. Criminals aren’t afraid to kill innocent people. So sad for the clerks family and friends. May he rest in peace and may his killers be swiftly brought to justice.

  55. Tosha Thummala on February 20th, 2019 7:21 am

    Rip…you never deserve that u was a good man . u will be missed fly high ..reddy

  56. Tosha thummala on February 20th, 2019 7:07 am

    Rip I will be miss love Tosha thummala and Clarence he never did u wrong he was a true friend fly high ur so loved

  57. Bob C. on February 20th, 2019 7:03 am

    Street junk did this.
    When did it become OKAY for people to just decide to murder another for the smallest of reasons?
    Maybe we need a new word, “SANGRY” meaning Sad and Angry at the same time.
    The guy in the store did not deserve this sort of end to his life.
    Hope the LEO will get HELP from the community to identify and capture these two and that the justice system will take them away from our society.
    God, Help Us Survive the Criminals and Bless our Protectors.

  58. Bewildered on February 20th, 2019 6:33 am

    All the sadness and prayers won’t do a thing. It’s time for people to get mad and demand that rabid animals like this scum are put down. No cuddling and privileges in prison – if you take a life you forfeit yours – on the spot upon conviction.

  59. Greg on February 20th, 2019 5:57 am

    It is rime to bring back public executions witj gallows
    Ruthless killers should be executed before the public.

  60. Chris Paul on February 20th, 2019 5:19 am

    See Colin Flaherty on YT

  61. Matt on February 20th, 2019 5:15 am

    Did he change clothes before pulling out the gun? He has on a completely different jacket and undershirt in the picture with the gun. Am I missing something? He must have came back into the store?

  62. Tonya Bagwell on February 20th, 2019 3:58 am

    Wow! Great survalance! Someone will recognize them soon, I’m sure. So sad tho. Senseless tragedies seem to be everyday now. People r crazy ! RIP….prayers for family and friends. God’s speed on capturing these ruthless thugs !!

  63. Teisha Sellers on February 20th, 2019 2:12 am

    I live 2 drive ways down from this store. It’s so sad. He was always really nice and went above and beyond for that store.





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