Bouwman murder 'person of interest' had history of home invasions

11:17 AM, Jan 12, 2013   |    comments
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Kentwood police want to question Javonte Higgins about the murders of David and Vivian Bouwman.

KENTWOOD, Mich. (WZZM) - The man who police call a person of interest in the murders of an elderly Kentwood couple has a fairly long history of home invasions.  But Javonte Higgins, 22, has never really hurt anyone or been caught with a gun. 

Police believe David Bouwman, 81, and his wife Vivian, 80, were shot to death during a home invasion Saturday. Because he grew up in the area and he's broken into other nearby homes, police say it's logical to think Higgins might be involved in the murders.

But if he is, he's changed the way he operates. Reg Goetz remembers catching Higgins coming into his house five years ago. He says Higgins didn't fight or pull a gun; he ran away.

"I stepped out of my house for two minutes and there is Javonte about to enter my home. He's got one foot in the slider door," recalls Goetz. "And he just quickly turned and left down the deck stairs. He ran scared."

Higgins was carrying marijuana when he was captured in that case. He was convicted of drug possession, but the home invasion charge was dropped as part of a plea agreement.

Higgins is currently facing charges for breaking into a house last September in that same neighborhood. So far, police are not saying if they have any evidence tying Higgins to the Bouwmans' murders. 

"I'm hoping he's not involved," says Goetz. "For his sake, I'm hoping he's not."

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