Accused murderers appear in court

By John W. Goodwin Jr.


Two men appeared Tuesday for arraignment on charges related to murder.

A third man was set to be arraigned but was in too poor of condition from gunshot wounds to appear in court.

Larry Dawson, 24, of Wesley Avenue, charged with murder and two counts of child endangering in the Dec. 12, 2012, death of his 15-month-old son, Rayvon, appeared for arraignment. He pleaded not guilty to all charges and was appointed an attorney to represent him in court.

The court continued Dawson’s previously imposed $75,000 bond and ordered that he be placed on electronically monitored house arrest if he is released on bond.

There was a very large contingent of family and supporters in the courtroom for Dawson during the court hearing. The group of about two dozen people said nothing and quietly left the courtroom after Dawson appeared before the judge.

Dawson will be back in court Tuesday for a pretrial hearing. He is slated for trial June 10.

LaQuawn Hopkins, 35, of South Schenley Avenue, appeared for arraignment. He is charged with tampering with evidence by concealing or removing a phone and pictures April 30 for the purpose of impairing an official investigation. He is charged in the shooting death of Kristopher M. Stuart, 26, in Stuart’s Elm Street residence in April.

Hopkins pleaded not guilty to the charges and will be back in court Friday for a pretrial hearing. He is slated for trial July 8.

DeJuan Thomas, 31, of Osborn Avenue, is charged with aggravated murder, aggravated robbery and being a felon with a gun in Stuart’s death. He is believed to be in the hospital recovering from gunshot wounds and did not make his court appearance for arraignment.

Police believe Stuart and the two suspects were involved in a shootout inside Stuart’s home, when Stuart was killed.

A silver revolver was found near Stuart’s hand as he lay dead inside the home.

Thomas, shortly after the shooting, walked into the St. Elizabeth Health Center emergency room with multiple gunshot wounds to his chest and torso, saying, “I can’t believe he shot me,” before collapsing on the floor.

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