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Trial underway for one of the men charged with 2011 murder of ODU student Christopher Cummings

During the first day of the trial, prosecutors called detectives and medics who responded to the shooting in 2011.

NORFOLK, Va. — Javon Doyle is on trial for the 2011 murder of Old Dominion University student Chris Cummings. Doyle is one of two men facing charges in the slaying, which has been a case more than 10 years in the making.

Friday, August 26

The trial winded down on its third day; however, there's no verdict yet.

On Friday morning, Doyle took the stand. He maintained his innocence and claimed he wasn’t there the night of the shooting.

The prosecution and defense rested their cases Friday, too.

Jurors deliberated all afternoon. They need more time because they told the court they were not unanimous but not necessarily hung. The case will pick back up Monday morning.

Thursday, August 25

Jurors in Norfolk heard new testimony Thursday in the trial against Javon Doyle.

Police arrested him and three others last year for the murder of Old Dominion University student Chris Cummings in 2011. Two of those men have since had their charges dismissed.

The last witness who took the stand Thursday was an inmate and convicted murderer, who has been in and out of prison.

He told jurors once when he was out of prison, he talked with Doyle. The inmate claims Doyle told him about the time he participated in a home invasion for marijuana. The inmate said Doyle told him the homeowner wasn’t cooperating, so a man named Kwame Edwards shot him.

In 2021, Norfolk police arrested four men for the crime: Javon Doyle, Kwame Edwards, Ahmad Watson, and Rashad Dooley. Edwards and Watson later had their charges dismissed.

Throughout the trial, court officials said Cummings sold marijuana.

On Thursday, prosecutors showed text messages from hours before the murder where Cummings had text exchanges with Watson about him coming by to get marijuana.

An investigator on the cold case said when he arrested Doyle last year, Doyle told him he wasn't in Norfolk when the shooting happened. He also said Doyle told him he knew the three men.

Cummings' roommate, Jake Carey, told jurors on June 10, 2011, he heard someone kick down his front door, and multiple footsteps go upstairs to Cummings' bedroom. 

He said he heard yelling, a scuffle, then a gunshot. Carey said he heard movement downstairs and then heard another gunshot.

It became quiet and Carey said he opened his bedroom door as a figure in a white t-shirt ran out the front door. Carey said he saw Cummings at the bottom of the stairs, but he wasn’t moving. As he got closer, Carey said someone shot him and he blacked out.

Carey said he had wounds in his neck, hand, shoulder, and back. As a result, he said he had to get multiple surgeries.

Wednesday, August 24

On Wednesday, testimony began in a trial more than 10 years in the making.

The case is against Javon Doyle. He’s one of the men accused of killing Old Dominion University student Chris Cummings in 2011.

During the first day of the trial, prosecutors called detectives and medics who responded to the shooting, as well as several of Cummings’ neighbors.

Norfolk Police investigators testified they found Cummings shot to death behind the front door of his home on June 10, 2011.

A few of Cummings’ neighbors told jurors they heard gunshots after4 o'clock that morning. Two of the neighbors told jurors they looked outside and saw Jake Carey, Cummings’ roommate, lying in a pool of blood in the driveway.

Those same neighbors reported seeing a man running down the street. The defense attorney asked them what the man wore. Their answers differed, with one neighbor saying the man had a dark hoodie on while the other said a white t-shirt.

Doyle faces several charges in connection to the shootings, including first-degree murder and attempted second-degree murder. Doyle's attorney argues her client wasn’t there that night.

Another neighbor told jurors he was on his way to work on the morning of the murder when he saw Cummings’ front door open. He also testified a man ran out of the house and they locked eyes for a few seconds. The neighbor said he then heard gunshots and started running.

While prosecutors asked questions, the neighbor told them police officers showed him photos of possible suspects. He said he pointed Javon Doyle out as the man he saw run out of the house.

However, the defense pointed out that he did the lineup for investigators about a year after the murder happened.

While looking at Doyle in court on Wednesday, the neighbor told the jurors he can’t say for sure if Doyle was there that night, but said his facial features looked similar to the man he saw.

A few of the neighbors mentioned they were friends with Cummings. While under questioning by the defense, those neighbors said they knew that Cummings sold marijuana out of his home.

Cummings’ father, James Cummings also took the stand on Wednesday. He told jurors he didn’t know about that, and testified Cummings was a good kid and his only son. He broke down when prosecutors showed him family photos of his son.

Doyle’s defense attorney told a judge her client maintains his innocence. The trial is expected to last about four days.

Doyle was one of four people arrested in this case last year, but now he is one of two defendants left.

Rashad Dooley is awaiting his trial for a murder charge. The other men arrested last year, Kwaume Edwards and Ahmad Watson, had their charges dismissed.

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