Juwuan Hawkins, the man charged in the murder of De’Asia Sims, 20, of Middletown, appeared in Butler County court, Thursday, May 28, before Judge Jennifer McElfresh. GREG LYNCH / STAFF
Photo: Greg Lynch
Photo: Greg Lynch

Victim’s family lashes out at accused murderer for laughing in court

Juwuan Hawkins is charged with the shooting death of his Middletown girlfriend

Juwuan Hawkins, 20, of Cincinnati, was shackled and handcuffed for his pre-trial hearing in Butler County Common Pleas Court, where he faces aggravated murder with a gun specification, grand theft, attempted grand theft, tampering with evidence and receiving stolen property charges. Hawkins allegedly used a .22 caliber gun stolen from his grandfather to shoot 20-year-old De’Asia Sims, of Middletown, in the head, according to court documents obtained by this newspaper.

He was all smiles as his defense attorneys, Dennis Adams and Kenneth Crehan, asked Judge Jennifer McElfresh for a continuance so they could review the large amount of evidence before a trial date is set. Hawkins began laughing as he joined other inmates who were awaiting court hearings in the jury box.

“It’s going to happen to you,” a young man sitting with Sims’ family shouted at Hawkins. “Bang, bang.”

Fairfield detectives, who attended the hearing, asked for court personnel to remove Hawkins from the courtroom. Sims’ family and friends were told to remain quiet in the courtroom even though it was difficult and were led out into the lobby.

Another pre-trial hearing was set for 1 p.m. on June 18.

Hawkins had been held in Hamilton County on an unrelated charge and was brought to Butler County last month to stand trial. His bond is set at $2 million.

Sims was found dead Dec. 15 near the Bolton Water Works Plant off Lick Road in Fairfield.

She left her 10th Avenue home in Middletown at about 1 p.m. Dec. 12, saying she was going to visit a cousin in Hamilton. But that cousin told police that Sims never arrived.

Seletta Wilson reported her daughter missing to Middletown police at 2:30 p.m. Saturday after she was told her daughter’s 1999 Chevy Malibu was found abandoned in a park.

Sims’ purse and other personal belongings were inside the vehicle, according to police records. Wilson told police that she didn’t believe Sims would have left her vehicle unattended.

Wilson had suspected her daughter may have gone to see a boyfriend in Colerain Twp., but he said he hadn’t seen Sims in about a week, according to a police report.

Prosecutors say Hawkins used a .22 caliber gun that was stolen from his grandfather to shoot Sims in the head killing her at the Lick Road location.

“After murdering De’Asia Sims, (Hawkins) covered her body with debris, then hid the gun in the woods near his home,” according to the bill of particulars filed by the county prosecutor’s office.

Hawkins is also facing charges for attempted to steal Hawkins’ car and allegedly stealing Wilson’s 2004 Mitsubishi Galant from her 10th Avenue home in August.

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