Antonio McRae (1-3-19)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The man accused of killing a southern Indiana gas station owner went before a judge again on Thursday.

Antonio McRae is now charged with two counts of murder in connection with the death of Praful Patel.

Patel was robbed and killed inside his Jeffersonville store last October. Jeffersonville Police say a tip from the community ultimately led to the arrest of McRae over the weekend.

The 35-year-old is accused of robbing the Stop-and-Go gas station on Allison Lane and killing Patel on Oct. 11.

During his first trip to face a judge on Monday, McRae was talkative and told reporters he didn't mean to kill Patel.

He claims Patel grabbed the gun and it went off.

But on Thursday, on his way to his second court appearance, he was tight-lipped and didn't say a word.

He now faces three charges: one armed robbery charge, and two different murder charges: murder, and felony murder.

"The difference is, in that felony murder charge, you don't have to prove the mens rea," said Clark County Prosecutor Jeremy Mull. "You don't have to prove the murder or killing was intentional. So for instance, if the defendant says, 'I didn't mean to kill him, the gun just went off.' If you're committing a robbery and you kill the victim, you're guilty of the felony murder."

Mull says he thinks there is enough evidence to convict McRae on either murder charge, but he can ultimately only be convicted and sentenced for one of those charges.

Both murder charges bring a penalty of up to 65 years in prison.

McRae's trial is set to start in May.


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