Closing arguments in Higgins’ trial

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Closing arguments were heard Friday in Javonte Higgins’ murder trial, and one sticking point appeared to be the lack of DNA evidence found at the scene of the crime.

Higgins is accused of shooting and killing David Bouwman, 81 and his wife, 80-year-old Vivian Bouwman in their Kentwood home in January 2013.

On Friday, Higgins sat calmly, unlike other days in court, listening to both sides deliver their closing arguments.

“Connect the dots. What’s reasonable? What’s normal?” said Kent County Chief Assistant Prosecutor Chris Becker. “All of this is reasonably normal, leading to believe that he was in that house. He was the one that did it.”

But Higgins’ defense attorney, Valarie Foster, argued that investigators never found a trace of Higgins in the house.

“You can get DNA from saliva, you can get DNA from blood, you can get DNA from skin cells,” she said. “No Higgins DNA anywhere in that house.”

Foster stressed Higgins’ fingerprints and DNA were nowhere inside the Bouwmans’ house, and also pointed out there was another set of footprints in the snow outside the home.

But Foster did admit that Higgins is guilty of one thing — stealing the Bouwmans’ car, which he later set on fire.

“Maybe he saw the bodies, maybe not. I don’t know,” Foster said. “What I do know, ladies and gentleman, is this is a young man, 22 years old, who freaked. He freaked. He didn’t run south like the foot impressions suggest. He’s the guy with the loafers who ran into the garage and took the car.”

Becker was quick with a rebuttal.

“How does he get the car? What sort of mental gymnastics do you have to do to say that he’s not involved in the murder but he somehow gets the car? How is that? How is that possible?” Becker said. “The person just disappeared into thin air? The Starship Enterprise beamed this other suspect up and we just can’t find him. How is that possible? The only evidence in this, the only facts that you have, are to this man.”

Jurors deliberated for less than an hour Friday afternoon and will continue deliberating Monday.

24 Hour News 8 will continue to follow the trial. Get the latest updates at woodtv.com.

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