Detectives with the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office have arrested two teens in connection with a January shooting that left a Jacksonville man dead after what investigators believe was a drug deal that went bad.
Authorities served arrest warrants on Friday for Race Jay Arthur, 16 of Hastings, and Dakota Manucy Constantin, 18 of St. Augustine.
Both are charged as adults and are facing one count each of possession of cannabis with intent to distribute while armed, a second-degree felony, and tampering with evidence, a third-degree felony, the Sheriff’s Office said in a news release.
Constantin has been released from jail after posting bonds totaling $150,000, records show.
According to the release and documents in the case, authorities believe that Constantin (who was 17 at the time) and Arthur, agreed on Jan. 20 to meet Kahlil Cooke, 20, and a group of others from Jacksonville at an undeveloped area off Stratton Boulevard near State Road 16 in order to sell Cooke roughly a pound of marijuana, valued at around $1,000.
“Investigation has shown that the drug transaction was actually a ruse developed by Kahlil Cooke to rob Race and Dakota of the marijuana,” the warrants for the two teens say. “Ultimately Race and Dakota shot and killed Kahlil Cooke during the robbery attempt and then fled the shooting scene.”
The two St. Johns County teens will not be charged with causing Cooke’s death.
That decision was made after an “extensive review of all of the evidence in the case by the State Attorney’s Office Homicide Investigation Unit,” the Sheriff’s Office release said. “The decision was based on evidence that self-defense existed in their actions, albeit while attempting to distribute a pound of Marijuana.”
Those accused of having helped Cooke plan the alleged robbery that ultimately led to his