Grand Jury Dismisses Murder Charge Against Teen Linked to Store Clerk’s Death — Attorney Claims the Teens Acted in Self-Defense After Clerk Chased Them

A Harris County grand jury has dismissed the murder charge against 17-year-old Mario Young in the case involving the death of 42-year-old store clerk Asif Maknojia.

The grand jury’s “no-bill” ruling indicates that they found insufficient evidence to prosecute Young for the murder of 42-year-old Asif Maknojia, effectively disposing of the case.

The incident took place on January 19 when Young and another teenager were confronted by Maknojia after they stole a bag of chips from a Sunoco station in Humble.

The second teen was never even charged.

Court records reveal that Maknojia pursued the teens outside of the store and into his vehicle, at which point the fatal shooting occurred.

Lott Brooks, the attorney representing Young, argued that his client acted in self-defense.

“I wanted him to be there with the grand jury, be honest and tell them exactly what happened,” Brooks said.

He claimed that on the day of the shooting, Maknojia brandished a firearm and threatened the teenagers. However, official documents have yet to clarify whether Maknojia was indeed armed during the encounter.

According to Click2Houston, an eyewitness denied seeing the cashier brandish firearm.

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“When they left there was no danger anymore, when he came around the corner and confronted them again, I think they were afraid for their lives,” Brooks said.

He says his condolences go to Maknojia’s family.

“It is just absolutely devastating, and I know my client is very upset about what happened.”

He says he doesn’t know where Young got the gun, but thinks there are too many guns on the streets, and they lead to tragedies like this one.

It is possible for the DA to present the case to another grand jury and re-file charges, but there hasn’t been any indication that that will happen in this case.

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