The first weekend of the new year, two elderly individuals were shot and killed inside their Kentwood home, the result of what police believe to be a home invasion. 81-year-old David Bouwman and his 80-year-old wife Vivian were found inside their home on Stowevalley Drive; they had been shot to death, and their Cadillac DeVille stolen. According to Wood TV, the Cadillac was located approximately four miles away at an apartment complex, where it had been set of fire.
Police indicated that the evening of the January 5 shooting, several other homes in the neighborhood were targets of attempted break-ins. A sketch was released of the suspect a few days after the break-in and subsequent murders. On Friday, January 11, police executed a search warrant for a second possible suspect in the murders, Javonte Jerome Higgins. According to Tom Hillen, Kentwood Police Chief, Higgins is wanted for auto theft, home invasion and other felony charges.
In September of 2012, Higgins, who is 22 years old, was charged with felony possession of burglary tools and felony second-degree home invasion. The search warrant issued on Higgins was at a Princeton Estate residence, within close proximity of the Bouwman’s home – in fact, less than a mile according to news reports. This made him a person of interest in the case. Relatives are believed to live at the home where the search warrant was executed, and say that Higgins had been at the home recently.
Chief Hillen stressed that Higgins was only a person of interest at the time of news reports; he said the next step would be to locate Higgins and to gather any evidence that may be at the home where the search warrant was issued.
The sketch of the first suspect in the double murders was of a man believed to be in his 30’s, perhaps a light skinned black male approximately 6′ tall with a beard. Police did not know the man’s name, and was asking for the public’s help in identifying him.
Murder and homicide are both serious criminal offenses which may leave those accused facing severe criminal penalties if convicted, possibly life in prison.
If you or a loved one have been charged with home invasion, murder, homicide, or any serious crime, it is essential that you consult with an experienced Michigan criminal defense attorney immediately. A skilled and aggressive defense lawyer will work diligently to protect you from harsh penalties and obtain the best possible results.