Suspect in Kentwood Double Homicide Delays Extradition Through Silence

Posted at 10:37 PM, Feb 20, 2013
and last updated 2013-02-21 06:35:38-05

CHICAGO — The man police are seeking in connection to a double homicide in Kentwood in early January stood silent in court Wednesday during an extradition hearing at the Cook County Courthouse in Illinois.

Javonte Higgins exercised his right to remain silent.

“It’s the legal system, and he has a right to do what he’s doing,” said Kentwood Police Chief Tom Hillen. “I understood that he stood mute in the courtroom today.”

Hillen said he wasn’t surprised, because Higgins appears to have a history of dodging questions from the law.

It’s been more than a month since Vivian and David Bouwman were found murdered in their home in Kentwood after what police suspect was a burglary gone wrong.

After police came to believe Higgins may have played some kind of role in the crime, they raided his parent’s home where he had lived from time to time. But there was no sign of him there.

Higgins was also supposed to be making court dates for a different home invasion charge and auto theft in Wyoming. He missed those court appearances.

On a tip, Higgins was picked up in Illinois on warrants out of the city of Wyoming. He was jailed in Cook County.

His silence during the extradition hearing will mean the proceedings will take longer and will delay the ability of Kentwood Police to move forward with any charges they may be considering.

“We’re kind of waiting our turn,” said Hillen.

Meanwhile, police are still looking for the man who witnesses said may have helped to burn the Bouwman’s car in Wyoming. A police sketch of the man was released earlier.

Hillen said they have been issuing investigative subpoenas and collecting testimony on a possible suspect in that incident as well. However, they do not have a specific suspect in mind at this time.

As for Higgins, while it may be a waiting game, law enforcement says patience will prevail.

“I was told early on, that it would take at a minimum 30 days, and more than likely 60 to 90 days. So It`s just going to take some time in order for the process to work through.”