Virginia Beach, Va. – James Willie Hawkins, a Beach man, will spend the next 36 years behind bars after officials say he shot a decorated member of the U.S. Navy during a domestic dispute.
Officials say this happened in June of 2012 at the Wadsworth Shores Military Housing complex. While he was awaiting trial, police say Hawkins actually wrote a letter to officials admitting to the shooting.
He was found guilty of the charges in January 2013.
They say 46-year-old Hawkins was separated from his wife for months when a friend told him another man was visiting her.
Hawkins got a gun and borrowed a truck from a friend. Hawkins and his friend, Jimmy Lee Bufkin, then drove to the estranged wife’s home and confronted the sailor.
Police say Hawkins told the sailor to get into the truck and he refused. That’s when shots were fired and the sailor was hit in the left arm, left leg and torso.
After the shooting, officials say Hawkins got back into the truck and Bufkin drove away.
Two black masks were found near the crime scene and a witness recognized Hawkins.
This is not Hawkins first brush with the law. He was previously convicted for armed robbery, attempted robbery and possession of a controlled substance.