A suspect in the November 2010 stabbing death of a 19-year-old man in Northwest Washington was arrested Wednesday. D.C. police said the motive was a robbery that netted $15 and a black pea coat.
According to court documents filed Thursday, one of the three men who participated in the holdup told the victim, “You’re taking too long” to take off the coat. Police said that man then stabbed Kelvin Willis several times. Moments later, witnesses saw the man leaving an alley with the coat in his hand near the scene of the stabbing, the unit block of Hanover Place NW.
The suspect under arrest is not the man who stabbed Willis, according to police. But LaDonte Hawkins, 20, of Northeast Washington was charged with first-
degree murder because authorities allege that he joined in the robbery that led to Willis’s death. Police said Hawkins punched Willis in the chin and took his wallet as a third man held a gun to the victim’s head.
Police have charged only Hawkins in the case. D.C. Superior Court records show that another suspect is serving a five-year prison sentence for burglary. Police would not say whether more charges are coming.
On Thursday, a D.C. Superior Court judge ordered Hawkins detained until a preliminary hearing set for Wednesday.
Neither relatives of Hawkins nor Willis could be reached for comment.
Police said in charging documents that Willis, who lived a block from where he was stabbed near New York Avenue NW and North Capitol Street, knew his attackers from the neighborhood and that one had been overheard plotting to steal his coat.
The stabbing occurred about 3:30 a.m. Nov. 6, 2010. Willis was admitted to MedStar Washington Hospital Center in critical condition but was able to talk to detectives. He told them that three people had held him up and taken his wallet containing $15. He told police that he knew one of the men as “BL.” The victim later told relatives that his coat had also been taken, according to the charging documents, and that one of his attackers had just been freed from jail. Police said they could not find “BL.”
Willis improved enough to be released from the hospital, but he died Nov. 22, 2010. His death was ruled a homicide from complications of the stab wounds, police said.