Former prosecutor talks about strategy in Javonte Higgins case

12:50 AM, Apr 6, 2013   |    comments
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Javonte Higgins

KENTWOOD, Mich. (WZZM) - Many people are wondering why isn't Javonte Higgins charged with the Bouwman murders?

On Friday, Higgins, 22, appeared in Wyoming District Court on separate charges related to a Wyoming home invasion.

But that doesn't mean Higgins won't face a murder charge. A former prosecutor explained to WZZM 13 News how this is actually strategic move by Kent County prosecutors.

"They want to be able to have some confidence that they can prove the defendant's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt," said Brian Lennon of the law firm Warner Norcross & Judd.

Previous Coverage: DNA could link Javonte Higgins to Bouwman murders

One big piece of the puzzle police are still waiting on is the results of a DNA sample they took from Higgins, who is being held without bond.

"It sounds to me like the collection of the DNA is further evidence that the investigation is ongoing," continued Lennon.

Since Higgins is already being held, there's no reason to rush bigger charges, says Lennon.  "The prosecutors are fairly confident they're going to keep him detained on those charges, and while he's detained, he can't be out intimidating witnesses, obstructing justice, or fleeing again...that will give them additional time to make sure they can be as complete as possible with the investigation, so it's certainly a prudent and good move."

What happens next? "In hearing about his behavior both in Illinois and when he appeared here in district court for his arraignment, I would not be surprised if his counsel asked for a psychiatric review," Lennon says.

Lennon believes it's tough in this situation to even take a guess at when murder charges could come.

"I would think that it would be coming sometime before there's any trial on these charges, but there's really no way to know," he says.

Higgins is scheduled to be back in court on the home invasion-related charges on April 17.

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