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Teen accused in murder has prior arrest record

By Staff | Jun 5, 2009

In the wake of being accused in the stabbing death of his mother, 15-year-old David Joel Hankins will spend the next 21 days in juvenile detention as state prosecutors decide how to proceed against him.
Police charged Hankins with second-degree homicide after he allegedly stabbed 40-year-old Myra Rodriguez with a kitchen knife, stole her car, visited friends and returned to the home where she had been killed before leading police on a car chase that ended with a crash at a business on Viscaya Parkway.
Hankins’ grandfather called 911 at about 9:14 a.m. Wednesday after he discovered Rodriguez’s body in the master bedroom closet of her home, located at 1031 S.E. Eighth Terrace, Apt. 2G, a police report states.
Hankins was at the residence with two friends when his grandfather arrived, then fled in Rodriguez’s 2002 Mazda when confronted, the grandfather reportedly told police.
Police believe the homicide happened at about 7:37 a.m., when a resident in a neighboring unit reportedly heard Rodriguez screaming, “Don’t do that! Don’t do that! I’m going to call police!” and repeating “Oh my God!” followed by silence.
Hankins had several encounters with the local juvenile justice system over the past several years, beginning February 2007 for aggravated assault and battery. In the incident, family members sought alternatives to the Department of Juvenile Justice’s recommendation for a Family Teen Violence program.
He was arrested for possession of marijuana and paraphernalia in November 2007, and completed Juvenile Arbitration through January 2008.
A juvenile petition was filed against Hankins a year later for battery, and in February for grand theft auto and trespassing to a conveyance. Another petition for grand theft auto was filed in March against Hankins.
He was sentenced to probation in May for battery and one of the grand theft auto petitions as part of a plea agreement. The other charges were dropped.
Hankins visited friends after the stabbing, revealing to them that he had killed his mother after a confrontation over a liquor bottle discovered in his room, according to police statements.
Hankins reportedly shared disturbing details with the friends, including that she had made “grunting” noises after being stabbed in the chest.
Seeming to realize the severity of what he had done, Hankins reportedly told the friends that he was “going away for a long time,” offering them his possessions and even contemplating suicide.
Police detained Hankins after he crashed his mother’s car and led officers on a brief foot chase.