Man who killed gas station clerk gets 45 years

Posted at 12:16 PM, May 04, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-04 13:29:58-04

WAUEKSHA -- The man who shot and killed a Waukesha gas station clerk in January 2015 has been sentenced to 45 years behind bars.

Waukesha County Circuit Court Judge Lloyd Carter on Wednesday said the murder of 65-year old Saeed Sharwani was a “vicious, aggravated crime,” before sentencing 21-year old Kenneth Thomas for pulling the trigger.

Thomas will spend 35 years in prison for the murder of Sharwani, as well as 10 years in confinement for an armed robbery that occurred three days earlier.

The sentence also comes with 20 years of extended supervision upon release and requires Thomas to pay more than $18,000 in restitution to Sharwani’s family.

Thomas pleaded guilty to felony murder and armed robbery, as a repeat offender, in February as part of a deal that also required him to testify against 29-year old Darrin Malone.

According to prosecutors, Malone and Thomas entered the gas station together on January 13, 2015 wearing masks. Thomas was the one holding a weapon, and eventually pulled the trigger and shot Sharwani.

The prosecutor Wednesday credited Thomas’s cooperation with the state for the guilty verdict and 25-year prison sentence it secured for Malone.

“He's shown remorse in every discussion we've had, every meeting that’s taken place and when he's met with the prosecutors,” said Thomas’s attorney, Anthony Cotton.

Speaking before his sentencing, Thomas said he never intended to shoot Sharwani. He also said he cooperated with prosecutors in an effort to do the right thing.

Thomas apologized to members of Sharwani’s family in the courtroom, as well as to Mr. Sharwani himself.

“I want to ask Mr. Sharwani, I know he's in a better place right now, I want to ask him to forgive me,” Thomas said.

But Carter said Thomas’s rights don’t outweigh his wrongs.

“As a result of a decision you made, Mr. Thomas, and no one else’s, a human life was taken," Carter said. "Mr. Sharwani was left to die in the parking lot of a gas station in the City of Waukesha and none of it had to happen. It shouldn’t have happened."