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Rochester

Murder-for-Hire Suspect Arraigned

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Rochester: Murder-for-Hire Suspect Arraigned
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Rochester Police have arrested a man in connection with a homicide on Clay Avenue earlier this month.

Donkavius Howard, 23, of Rochester is facing two counts of first degree murder.

Rochester Police say around 8 p.m. on February 1, Howard shot and killed Demetric Tatum at his Clay Avenue home. Police say Tatum was shot on the porch of his house, in front of his two small children.

Police said Howard was paid to kill Tatum, who was a victim in a previous shooting and was cooperating in that case. Police believe Tatum was killed to prevent him from testifying.

Prosecutors would not say how much money Howard was paid, nor who paid him.

"There are many different theories of murder in the first degree that someone can be charged with. This one that Mr. Howard is charged with has to do with being hired," said prosecutor Perry Duckles.

"I do anticipate further charges and other individuals in the future. But at this time I'm not going to comment on that."

Howard pleaded not guilty in Rochester City Court Thursday morning. He's being held without bail and is due back in court Tuesday.

If convicted, Howard faces a maximum of life in prison without the possibility of parole.

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