Mistrial Declared for Suspect in the Murder of ODU Student Christopher Cummings

By Sydney Haulenbeek, Editor in Chief


The trial of one of the men accused of killing ODU student Christopher Cummings has ended in a mistrial after the jury could not reach a unanimous decision.


Jovan Doyle took the stand on Aug. 24, more than 10 years after Cummings’ death. A mistrial was declared on Aug. 29, after the jury deliberated for more than 10 hours. Norfolk Commonwealth Attorney Ramin Fatehi told the Virginian-Pilot that they plan to re-try the case against Doyle as soon as possible.


Cummings was killed on June 10, 2011 when an intruder entered the house he shared with his roommate Jake Carey on 42nd Street and Killam. Carey was shot five times, but survived his injuries.


Four suspects were initially investigated by police in 2011, although they were not arrested until August 2021. Rashad Dooley, Javon Doyle, Ahmad Watson and Kwaume Edwards were all charged with more than 15 counts, including first degree murder, burglary while armed, and attempted second degree murder. 


Kwaume Edwards had his charges dismissed during a pre-trial hearing in June, and Ahmad Watson had his charges dismissed in July, after a year awaiting trial in jail. Both had their charges dismissed with prejudice, meaning the case cannot be brought back to court, and the prosecution cannot refile the same charges.


Doyle is the first of the remaining suspects to go to trial. He took the stand on August 24 and pled not guilty. Doyle spent almost a year in jail awaiting trial, and paid bond shortly before the trial commenced. 


Rashad Dooley is scheduled for a four-day jury trial beginning Sept. 7, and Ahmad Watson is scheduled for a jury trial beginning Sept. 20.