Judge Ronna Beck found enough evidence Wednesday to believe that Ladonte Hawkins participated in the 2010 stabbing death of 19-year-old Kelvin Jamal Willis. Hawkins, 20, remains held while a grand jury investigates the case.
Willis was found stabbed in the Unit block of N Street Northwest Nov. 6, 2010, but detectives later determined that the stabbing took place in the Unit block of Hanover Place NW.
Metropolitan Police Detective Joseph Della-Camera testified at the preliminary hearing Wednesday and said that while in the hospital Willis told police he was attacked by three men, who then robbed him of his wallet and jacket, before stabbing him multiple times with a knife. Willis also told detectives that he knew the people who robbed him, Della-Camera said.
“There was a scheme; there was a plan— almost a conspiracy—to commit this robbery,” Assistant U.S. Attorney George Pace argued Wednesday.
Willis died on Nov. 22, 2010, and a medical examiner determined his cause of death to be complications due to multiple stab wounds; the manner of death was ruled a homicide.
Della-Camera said Wednesday that over the course of the investigation three witnesses came forward and implicated Hawkins, Robert Crowder and Rico Carr in Willis’ death. One witness told police that Hawkins and Carr had talked about robbing Willis of his coat. Hawkins punched Willis in his chin, the witness said, and Carr pointed a gun at Willis and demanded his coat. Hawkins then reached into Willis’ pocket and took his wallet, and Carr hit Willis in the head with the gun.
Della-Camera said that as Willis was removing his coat, the witness heard Crowder yell, “You’re taking too long,” and then pull out a knife and stab Willis several times.
“Crowder attempted to gain benefit from the robbery that was started by Hawkins and Carr,” Pace told the court.
Another witness told police that he saw Crowder leaving an alley near Hanover Street Northwest carrying a black coat, and shortly after saw Crowder washing blood off his hands. The witness told police that he asked Crowder where he got the coat and Crowder said he had joined in on a beating that occurred in the alley and that he had stabbed someone.
Court records do not indicate that Crowder or Carr have ever been arrested in connection with Willis’ death.
Hawkins is scheduled for a detention hearing before Judge Beck Friday.