A documented gang member has been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole after a Texas jury convicted him earlier this week of capital murder for the fatal shooting of a teenage boy and his stepfather while out on bond for another murder that occurred years earlier.
"A little boy with his whole life ahead of him was murdered because of a cold-blooded ambush in broad daylight," Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said in the statement. "This was a capital murder, and the appropriate sentence is life in prison without parole."
At the time of the shooting, Mr. Hawkins was free on bond for a capital murder that happened on Oct. 10, 2016. In that case, he was arrested for fatally shooting John Pye while he was robbing him. The DA's office noted that the two men knew each other.
Mr. Hawkins was then released on bond with a GPS ankle monitor, which he was reportedly wearing when he killed the 11-year-old child and his stepfather.
A week before the double murder, Mr. Solomon had reported to police that an unknown man he had never seen before tried to kill him by shooting at him while parking his car in the driveway of his home.
Mr. Solomon told police that he did not know why he had been targeted.
On the day of the murder, Mr. Hawkins's GPS ankle monitor showed that he was waiting near Mr. Solomon's residence before cutting a hole into a chain-linked fence in order to approach his victim faster. The suspect waited at least three hours for Mr. Solomon to come home to carry out the killing, according to the DA's office.
As Mr. Solomon backed into his driveway with his stepson in the passenger seat, prosecutors said Mr. Hawkins emerged from the hole in the fence, shot the 11-year-old twice, and then shot Mr. Solomon four times, killing them both.
"The defendant laid in wait for three hours, during the light of day to execute a young boy and his stepfather," said Nancy Ta, a prosecutor in Harris County assigned to the DA's office specialized homicide division.
"Hawkins made a decision to end Dominic’s life before the boy could even turn 12, and now 12 citizens of Harris County have decided how Hawkins will spend the rest of his," she added.
Ms. Ta also pointed out that the time of the broad daylight murder and the fact a hole was cut into the fence to gain easy access to the victims were "evidence of a premeditated ambush."
Besides Mr. Hawkins's GPS ankle monitor records, surveillance footage from nearby cameras also showed that the suspect ran toward the murder scene wearing his ankle monitor.
The motive as to why Mr. Hawkins targeted Mr. Solomon and his stepson remains unclear.
Christopher Condon, another prosecutor in Harris County assigned to the DA's office specialized homicide division, also said that he believes the murder was "an orchestrated hit" based on all of the available evidence.
"The jury did the right thing in handing down a conviction for capital murder." Mr. Condon said.
Officials said the jury listened to all of the presented evidence during a two-week trial before convicting Mr. Hawkins of capital murder on Sept. 18. He was automatically sentenced to life in prison and will never have a chance for parole.