Suspect in Khalil Hopson robbery, murder waives preliminary hearing

MELISSA KLARIC | Herald

Alexis Evanna Holmes, arrested in connection with the homicide of Khalil Hopson, is escorted out of the Mercer County Courthouse by sheriff’s deputies after her preliminary hearing Wednesday.

MERCER – A New Castle woman accused in the May shooting death of a Sharon man waived her right to a preliminary hearing Wednesday.

Alexis Evonna Holmes, 20, of 320 Halco Drive, New Castle, is charged with homicide, solicitation to commit robbery and burglary, and robbery and burglary in connection with the death of Khalil “Champ” Hopson, 24, on May 23. The case now moves to Mercer County Common Pleas Court.

Police responded to the May shooting call at 5:32 a.m. at 1239 Cedar Ave., Sharon, according to a police report signed by Sharon detective Sgt. Ryan Chmura.

When officers arrived, they found Hopson lying on the kitchen floor with his father tending to him. Hopson’s pit bull, Blue, had also been shot.

Hopson died later that day at a Youngstown hospital from a gunshot wound. Blue died a few days later from his injuries.

Police found that there was no forced entry into the Hopson house. Hopson’s father, James Hopson, was the only other person in the house when officers arrived.

James said he was sleeping and was awakened when he heard two gunshots. He told police that Khalil yelled that he had been shot and that Alexis Holmes had let the shooter into the house, according to the police report.

Detectives interviewed Holmes at New Castle police station in Lawrence County.

Holmes said she arrived at Hopson’s house around midnight May 23. At about 5 a.m., Holmes said she was talking with Hopson in the kitchen when he opened the side door for her to walk onto the porch. She told police that three armed men rushed the porch and ordered the pair on the ground.

Police said Holmes told officers she froze on the back porch while one man held her at gunpoint. She said Hopson ran into the home, followed by two gunmen. She said she heard Hopson yell something and then ran away and called a friend for a ride.

Officers said in the criminal complaint that Eddie James Robinson Jr., an acquaintance of Holmes, was also involved in the incident.

Holmes told police that she had recently broken up with her boyfriend, Robinson. Police discovered text messages between Holmes and Robinson showing the pair discussing robbing “Champ” for several thousand dollars, detectives said in a report.

Investigators said video surveillance taken near Holmes’ home showed Holmes with Robinson several hours before the robbery. The video showed Holmes later removing a long firearm and handing it to Robinson. Robinson then entered Holmes’ vehicle with an unidentified man and the gun, and drove away.

A witness told police that Holmes and Robinson were involved in the robbery and Hopson’s murder. The witness said they had been shopping together in Youngstown in the early morning of May 24 and that they stayed in a hotel together in the Youngstown area.

When police went back to speak with Holmes, she had left home. Police traced posts on her Snapchat account May 24 from Charlotte, N.C., May 27 and May 28 in Myrtle Beach, S.C. Myrtle Beach police confirmed that Holmes’ car was in the city.

Robinson Jr., 25, of Youngstown, is charged by Lawrence County authorities for prohibited possession of a firearm.

A source close to the investigation said the firearm is believed to be connected to the Hopson case, and that Robinson was taken into custody at the same time as Holmes.

A preliminary arraignment is scheduled for 9 a.m. Aug. 27 in Mercer County Common Pleas Court.

Follow Melissa Klaric on Twitter and Facebook @HeraldKlaric, email: mklaric@sharonherald.com

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