Pair plead not guilty

Published 5:15 am Saturday, December 1, 2012

The two Atmore area men indicted Tuesday on murder charges for the shooting death of a lottery store owner earlier this month pleaded not guilty Thursday in a Pensacola court.



Malcolm Troy McGhee, 24, and Brent Dewayne Lambeth, 20, appeared before a Pensacola judge Thursday morning to find out when their cases would next see a courtroom after they were officially charged two days earlier with the murder of 76-year-old Thomas Gerald Kroll.
According to officials with the Escambia County (Fla.) Circuit Clerk’s office, a standard automatic plea of not guilty is entered in felony cases during an arraignment prior to a new court date being established.

The two men await their next days in court after being arrested Nov. 7, less than 24 hours after they allegedly shot and killed Kroll, the owner of the O’Yes Lotto store in Davisville, Fla., during a botched robbery.

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The two men allegedly fled the scene on foot. Lambeth was arrested the following afternoon in Florida and transported to the Pensacola Jail, while McGhee was arrested that morning in Alabama and transported to the Escambia County (Ala.) Detention Center in Brewton.

Over the next several weeks, McGhee continued to refuse to sign a waiver of extradition that would allow officials to transport him across state lines to Escambia County, Fla. McGhee was finally extradited almost three weeks after his arrest, following a warrant issued by Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s office.

According to law enforcement officials, the suspects are believed to have purchased “Spice,” a synthetic form of marijuana outlawed in several states, including Alabama, but legal in Florida, from the lottery store. Authorities suspect the two men were attempting to rob the store of more of the substance when gunfire was exchanged and Kroll was killed.

Following their arraignments, McGhee is next scheduled in court on Thursday, Dec. 13, in front of Judge Linda Nobles. Lambeth is scheduled to be in court again on Wednesday, Jan. 23, appearing in front of Judge Ross Goodman. Both men are facing robbery and homicide charges and remain in the Pensacola Jail on no bond.