Probable Cause Found Against Arvel Wills in Death of Cousin, Dwayne Wills

Judge Ronna Beck found probable cause today that Arvel Wills caused the death of his cousin, Dwayne Wills, who died on June 4, 2012. Arvel was held pending indictment by a grand jury.

Wills is charged with second-degree murder; he rejected a plea offer last year that would have required him to plead guilty to involuntary manslaughter and a felony firearms possession charge. A tentative trial date is scheduled for June 3.

According to charging documents, the cousins engaged in a drunken argument that escalated out of control. Witnesses told police that the men began arguing at 4 a.m. near the intersection of L Street and Abbey Place Northeast on May 26, 2012.

At some point, the argument turned physical, and Dwayne threw a punch. Arvel then picked up his cousin over his head and slammed him head first into the pavement, according to documents in the case.

Dwayne was taken to the hospital by private vehicle with an open laceration on his head. He was intoxicated, had slurred speech, and he told doctors that he fell and hit his head on the sidewalk. A CAT scan revealed that Dwayne suffered a four-inch skull fracture near his left ear.

On May 29, 2012, Dwayne slipped into a coma. He died as a result of his injuries six days later.

Arvel Wills was arrested on September 27 and was found with a 9mm handgun, for which he did not have a license. He told detectives that he had been in a fight with his cousin on May 26, but had blacked out when he attempted to lift Dwayne over his head, according to documents.

Arvel also told detectives that after he realized his cousin was unconscious and bleeding, he got onto his bike and rode away.

A felony status conference is scheduled for March 7.

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