The wheels of justice have moved stunningly slowly in the case of a man found dead in a Vallejo hotel room in 2018, but the pair accused of killing and robbing him finally has a trial date set that will begin more than six years after the killing itself.
We understand that COVID-19 slowed down some criminal trials and court proceedings, but this seems ridiculous. An alleged murder-robbery in Vallejo is back in the news, in a case where two suspects, Devonte Hicks and Jessica McCraven are accused of killing a man who was found dead in a hotel room. But what’s unusual here is that all of this happened way back in August 2018, as Solano County’s Daily Republic reported it then, and the case has very oddly still not gone to trial.
An originally scheduled 2021 trial date didn't happen. They rescheduled for 2022, and those proceedings were again delayed. In August of 2023, the judge then set an October 2023 trial date, but you can guess what happened with that.
Yet now the Bay Area News Group reports that a September 2024 trail date has been set, with a few pretrial motions also currently scheduled for April and August of this year.
The scheduled September 4, 2024 trial date would be a full six years after the August 20, 2018 killing.
Defendant Devonte Hicks is now 28 years old, is charged with first-degree murder, robbery during the commission of a murder, being a felon in possession of a firearm, possessing prohibited ammunition, presenting a false ID to the police, and a slew of felony probation violations. The alleged accomplice Jessica McCraven, now 36 years old, also faces the murder and robbery charges, plus identity theft, possession of meth and drug paraphernalia, driving with an invalid license, check forgery, burglary, and failure to appear in court.
Yes, both Hicks and McCraven have remained in custody without bail for this entire five-plus year saga. And they may not even get credit for time served, as if they’re found guilty on the murder and robbery charges with enhancements, both could face life in prison without parole.
And in another bizarre footnote to this case, we still don’t know the identity of the victim. Per the Bay Area News Group, the Solano County Coroner “has reported the victim’s identity was ‘protected’ and could not be released.”