NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – A man charged in the killing of an ODU student in 2011 has been found not guilty on all charges.
Javon Doyle was facing 13 charges in the killing of Old Dominion University student Christopher Cummings, who was the nephew of the late Congressman Elijah Cummings.
The jury of nine women and three men needed about two hours to reach a not-guilty verdict on murder in the death of Cummings, and the attempted murder of his roommate Jake Carey.
“It’s pretty disappointing, but the jury has to make their own decisions,” Carey said.
These charges stemmed from an incident that occurred during the early morning hours of June 10, 2011. Cummings was in his home on 42nd Street near the ODU campus when he was shot and killed.
Doyle was one of four people arrested in 2021 – 10 years after Cummings was killed. His father has attended the trials of the two defendants whose cases were prosecuted.
“Yes, I do wish the first two guys had at least been brought to trial. But I’m happy that we got a conviction on the third guy, and I wish we could’ve done the same with this one,” James Cummings said.
Evidence and testimony showed that Chris Cummings was selling marijuana from the home. Phone records showed that texts were exchanged for Cummings to both purchase and sell weed.
Doyle’s attorney Emily Munn in her closing argument said this showed that many people knew that Cummings had cash and weed in the home, so there could be many suspects in his killing.
Prosecutor Cynthia Collard said three witnesses put Doyle at the scene of the crime. However, both on the stand Thursday and in an interview following the verdict, Doyle denied ever being there.
“I told the detectives from the day they picked me up I was innocent. That’s what happens when you believe in God, and you have faith and you got a family that stands beside you,” he said.
Commonwealth’s Attorney Ramin Fatehi said his case was harmed when a key witness refused to testify.
“The overall goal was to bring a cold case to trial, and offer closure to our surviving victim, and the family of our victims who died,” Fatehi said outside the courthouse. “We offered what we could.”
This is the second time Doyle’s case has been tried in court after a judge declared a mistrial in August after the jury could not come to a unanimous decision.
Doyle was one of four men who faced charges in the death of Cummings. Here is where each of their cases stands:
- Kwuame Edwards: Dismissed
- Ahmad Watson: Dismissed
- Javon Doyle: Not guilty on all charges
- Rashad Dooley: Convicted of lesser charges, will be sentenced next week