Police found 48-year-old James seated on the driver’s side of a BMW with a gunshot wound to the head on January 16 in the 1500 block of Gallatin Place Northeast. Police believe James was killed after a heated exchange with Boykins via text messages about a debt, documents say.
According to charging documents, James demanded Boykins pay him for money owed and threatened to collect the debt from Boykins’ family if he wasn’t repaid. Boykins promised to pay James that evening, but was offended by the threats to his family, documents say.
On Friday, Metropolitan Police Detective Anthony Greene testified that James was found with $1,200 in cash that night. However, initial forensic investigation of the BMW including DNA swabs and fingerprints could not “yet” place Boykins in the car, Greene said.
Greene testified that a witness in the case called 911 at 7:39 p.m. after hearing a gunshot, then seeing James in the crashed car. Six minutes earlier, James placed his last phone call to Boykins, according to Greene.
Boykins told police he took the Metro to Fort Totten to pay James and that James was upset because it took him awhile to pay, according to charging documents. Documents state Boykins said James counted the money and left.
Defense attorney Andrew Stanner argued that there was no forensic evidence or eyewitness testimony to show probable cause. Additionally, the cell phone data “proved too much” because the six minute difference between James’ last phone call and when he was found is “not enough time to do anything.”
Stanner said that Boykins told police “things you would never volunteer if you were trying to hide,” a sign of an innocent man.
Judge Robert Morin found probable cause in the case, saying the men were clearly in a dispute, Boykins admitted to being in James’ car, and the men had contact minutes before the homicide.
He also ruled that Boykins will remain held in the case. But if attorneys are able to offer “more clarity on the cell site information,” Morin said that he “reserved the right to reconsider” Boykins’ detention status.
A status hearing is scheduled for 12:00 p.m. on September 12.