Javonte Higgins sentenced to life in prison

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Javonte Higgins has been sentenced to spend the rest of his life in prison for the murders of David and Vivian Bouwman.

Higgins’ fate was sealed Thursday afternoon in Kent County Circuit Court in front of Judge Mark Trusock, who said the case was “one of the most gruesome murders” he had presided over.

David Bouwman, 81, and his wife, Vivian, 80, were killed in their home on Jan. 5, 2013. Police said Higgins broke into the home before shooting the couple.

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

“And for what?” Judge Trusock questioned of Higgins. “A wedding ring and a car?”

He said Higgins has not showed any remorse and said he does not have a moral compass.

“You are clearly a very evil individual,” he said. “This is absolutely beyond my comprehension. How you can take a gun and stick it to an 81-year-old’s head and pull the trigger is beyond my thought process.”

Trusock sentenced Higgins to life in prison without the possibility of parole. He said he hopes Higgins will realize the pain he has caused to others and think about it every day he is locked up.

The sentencing proceedings lasted only about five minutes as both Higgins and the Bouwman family chose not to speak in court.

Higgins replied, “No, indeed,” when asked if he wanted to say anything.

On March 10, a jury found Higgins guilty on two counts of felony homicide. Thursday, a defense attorney told the judge Higgins plans to appeal the conviction.

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