Jury selection starts in Bouwman murder trial

Javonte Higgins sits in court as a jury is selected for his trial (March 3, 2014).

KENTWOOD, Mich. (WOOD) — Jury selection has begun in the trial of the man accused of killing a Kentwood couple in their home more than a year ago.

Police say in the early hours of Jan. 5, 2013, Javonte Higgins broke into David and Vivian Bouwman’s home on Stowevalley Drive. He then shot and killed the 81-year-old David Bouwman and his 80-year-old wife Vivian.

David and Vivian Bouwman. (Undated courtesy photo)
(David and Vivian Bouwman. Undated courtesy photo)

He then allegedly stole their car, drove a few miles to a Wyoming apartment building and set it on fire.

About two weeks later, authorities tracked down and arrested Higgins in Blue Island, Illinois, south of Chicago.

Since then, there have been several delays leading up to his trial. He fought extradition to Michigan and had to be returned on a governor’s warrant, underwent competency testing after displaying unusual behavior, and was uncooperative during hearings.

He also faced charges out of Wyoming for home invasion and auto theft. That case stemmed from a December 2012 incident in which Higgins allegedly entered a Wyoming home, stole the keys to a pickup truck, and then led police on a chase before wrecking the truck. He was injured in the crash, but left the hospital before he could be arrested.

The Bouwmans were killed less than a month later.

Jury selection for the murder trial began Monday morning.

24 Hour News 8 will have continuing coverage on the trial as it moves forward.

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