4 arrested in connection with 2011 homicide of ODU student, nephew of congressman

Posted at 4:43 PM, Aug 12, 2021
and last updated 2022-07-14 23:06:50-04

NORFOLK, Va. - Four people have been arrested in connection with a decade-old homicide in Norfolk.

Cold case detectives, in partnership with the U.S. Marshals Capital Area Regional Fugitive Task Force, have arrested and charged the people said to be responsible for the 2011 murder of Christopher Cummings. He was the nephew of late Baltimore Congressman Elijah Cummings.

Christopher Cummings
Chris Cummings

In the early morning of June 10, 2011, Norfolk Police were called to the 800 block of W. 42nd Street for a report of two gunshot victims.

Cummings was found murdered inside of a home, and a second man was taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries; the other victim survived.

Both men were 20 years old at the time of the shooting.

Detectives have continued to investigate this shooting over the years.

“For more than a decade now Investigators have been relentless in their efforts to solve this case, they have followed up on every lead necessary to ensure the Norfolk Police Department was able to deliver justice to both the surviving victim and to the Cummings family," said Norfolk Police Chief Larry D. Boone. "I want to recognize all the hard work and the level of commitment and professionalism of all those who were involved in bringing this investigation to a close.”

As a result of the investigation and forensic evidence, four men, Kwaume L. Edwards, 32; Javon L. Doyle, 31; Ahmad R. Watson, 30; and Rashad D. Dooley, 28, all of Newport News, have been indicted on 15 charges each.

The four men have been charged with the following: Homicide; first degree murder; conspiracy to commit first degree murder; use of a firearm in commission of first-degree murder; burglary with the intent to commit murder with a deadly weapon; conspiracy to commit burglary with a deadly weapon; use of a firearm in commission of an armed burglary; aggravated malicious wounding; use of firearm in commission of aggravated malicious wounding; attempted second-degree murder; use of firearm in attempted commission of second-degree murder; two counts each of discharging a firearm in an occupied dwelling; attempted robbery and use of firearm in commission of a robbery.

Only one of the suspects was arrested out of the state and will be extradited back to Norfolk; the other suspects are all in Virginia jails.

Watson appeared in court on October 6. On May 2, 2022, a judge denied Watson's motion for bond at a hearing in Norfolk Circuit Court. Watson's attorney, Michael Massie, said he and his client are "disappointed," but they respect the decision of the court.

A four-day jury trial for Watson is scheduled to begin September 20, 2022. He faces 15 felony counts in connection with Cummings' death:

  • First-degree murder
  • 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
  • Felony homicide

Dooley and Doyle appeared in Norfolk Circuit Court on Wednesday, September 15. Dooley is scheduled for a four-day jury trail beginning September 7, 2022. He is currently in custody at the Chesapeake Correctional Center.

Doyle is currently scheduled for a four-day jury trial beginning August 23, 2022. He remains in custody at the Norfolk City Jail.

Edwards is currently serving a prison sentence at Buckingham Correctional Center for a 2014 murder committed in Hampton. His five-day jury trial is slated to begin on June 13, 2022.

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