NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — A jury was picked to decide if one of the four men accused of killing 20-year-old Chris Cummings. Cummings is the nephew of the late Rep. Elijah Cummings.
Cummings was going into his junior year at Old Dominion University and was a criminal justice major.
He was shot and killed in his home near ODU on June 10, 2011. His roommate, Jake Carey, was shot multiple times, but survived his injuries.
In August of 2021, four men were charged with Cummings’s muder. The four men were Rashad Dooley, Javon Doyle, Ahmad Watson and Kwaume Edwards.
Dooley’s trial started Wednesday.
In opening statements, Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney, Cynthia Collard, said it was “about marijuana and money.” She said the four men, including Dooley, are “responsible” for Cummings’s death.
Collard explained to the jury that forensic investigators combed the West 42nd Street home for evidence. They were only able to identify the DNA of the people living in the home. She told the jury they wouldn’t see DNA evidence linking Dooley, but testimony would describe what happened in the early morning hours.
Dooley’s attorney, Eric Korslund, told the jury the case is “blistering cold” as it was in the beginning. He said it only got warm after a couple of interviews with two inmates, one of which is trying to get out of jail. Korslund called one of the inmate’s testimony “hilarious.”
He said Dooley “did not commit this murder.”
Korslund showed the jury a PowerPoint. One of the slides detailed Dooley’s phone records. It didn’t show the actual records, but said the records would show Dooley’s phone was in Hampton. It was noted at 3:37 a.m. and 5:46 a.m. Dooley’s phone was on Mercury Boulevard. The murder happened around 4:30 a.m.
Cumming’s father, James Cummings, took the stand. He described the day he found out his son was murdered. He was in a classified meeting and didn’t have his phone. When he returned, he had 30 missed calls. He said he knew something was wrong.
James Cummings described his son as “outgoing” and “everybody loved him.”
Cumming’s long-time girlfriend also testified. She said they had dated since 2006 and she had received a call from a friend around 8:00 a.m. that June morning. The friend told him Cummings got shot.
The Commonwealth’s Attorney played the 911 calls to the jury. One of the callers testified about seeing a man jump off the porch.
Another witness testified. He was the one who pointed Doyle out in a lineup. He said he was “80-90 percent sure” the picture was Doyle.
Testimony will resume Thursday morning.