2nd trial in 2011 ODU murder case scrapped after judge dismisses all charges against one suspect

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Posted at 11:15 PM, Jul 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-14 23:17:55-04

NORFOLK, Va. - All charges against a defendant in a high-profile local murder case were dismissed Thursday.

The case resurfaced in August 2021 after a Norfolk grand jury indicted four local men for the 2011 killing of ODU student Christopher Cummings. He was the nephew of late Baltimore Congressman Elijah Cummings.

During a motion hearing Thursday at Norfolk Circuit Court, Judge Tasha D. Scott ordered all charges against 30-year-old Ahmad Raheem Watson dismissed with prejudice. Dismissal with prejudice means prosecutors are prohibited from refiling charges against Watson in this case.

Last August Watson was indicted on fifteen felony counts:

  • First-degree murder
  • Felony homicide
  • Conspiracy to commit first-degree murder
  • Five counts of use of a firearm in the commission of a felony
  • Entering a house while armed with intent to commit murder, rape, robbery or arson
  • Conspiracy to commit burglary
  • Aggravated malicious wounding
  • Attempted second-degree murder
  • Two counts of maliciously discharging a firearm within or at an occupied building
  • Attempted robbery

Last month, those same charges were also dismissed against another defendant in the case, 33-year-old Kwaume L. Edwards.

Edwards remains behind bars at Buckingham Correctional Center and is scheduled for a release date of August 2029. That sentence is the result of a 2016 guilty plea in a murder case out of Hampton.

The two remaining defendants in the case have both been released on bail.

33-year-old Javon L. Doyle, of Newport News, is currently scheduled for a four-day jury trial beginning August 23. 29-year-old Rashad D. Dooley, of Newport News, is scheduled for a four-day jury trial beginning September 7.