Prosecutors: Alexander Hill Jr. told woman he wanted to 'kill her and everyone she loved'

Prosecutors: Alexander Hill Jr. told woman he wanted to 'kill her and everyone she loved'
Victims Pauline Wilkins, Vicki Chavis Ansar, Tanique Davis, Delvari Chavis (Source: Facebook)
Victims Pauline Wilkins, Vicki Chavis Ansar, Tanique Davis, Delvari Chavis (Source: Facebook)

PETERSBURG, VA (WWBT) - The trial for the man accused of brutally killing four of his ex-girlfriend's family members and setting fire to their Petersburg home in April 2014 continued Thursday.

Prosecutors say Alexander Hill Jr. killed Vivan Chavis' family after she broke off their relationship. However, defense attorneys claim that Chavis weaved a story to police, who were under extreme pressure and "jumped on the bandwagon" in order to solve the gruesome crime.

Pauline Wilkins, 67, her daughter Vicki Chavis-Ansar, 46, granddaughter Tanique Davis, 22, and great-grandson, two-year-old Delvari Chavis, were found dead inside their burning Harding Street home on April 19, 2014.  Vivan Chavis was not home the night of the killings.

In court on Thursday during opening statements, Commonwealth's Attorney Cheryl Wilson said Hill and Chavis' on-and-off relationship began in 2011. However, by September 2013, the relationship soured, and Chavis moved out of the home she shared with Hill and into the Harding Street home with her mother, sister, niece and nephew.

During opening statement, prosecutors claim between December 2013 and April 2014, Hill made several threatening phone calls to Chavis, even telling her "he was going to kill her and everyone she loved." Chavis took a protective order out against Hill, but she said he continued to harass her with threatening calls.

However, during their opening statements defense attorneys say Chavis was the one making threatening remarks and told Hill should could "lie to police, and they would believe her."

In court Thursday, audio from a 911 call was played for the jury. A dispatcher testified the call came in at 3:31 a.m. on April 19, 2014. During the call, a woman can be heard whispering that a man had come into the home and was attacking her grandmother, but she had "no clue" who it was.

Prosecutors say that woman was Tanique Chavis.

The call ends abruptly, and the dispatcher testified to calling back five times. Finally, someone picks up, but all that can be heard is several moments of loud screaming.

Three Petersburg police officers took the stand Thursday. Each testified to responding to the 911 call and arriving at the Harding Street home between 3:34 and 3:40 a.m. on April 19. They each described seeing thick smoke and fire pouring from the house, which prevented them from getting inside.

Attorneys said kerosene, gasoline and lighter fluid were used to ignite fires at the front and back doors.

One officer testified that he found a bloody knife on the back stoop after unsuccessfully trying to get in the back door.

Jurors also heard testimony, as well as saw a video from a firefighter, who described the harsh conditions inside the home. The video from his helmet camera showed the moment he discovered two bodies inside the home, feet from the front door.

Prosecutors say Pauline Wilkins died with 20 stab wounds to her body. Vicki Chavis-Ansar died with 13 stab wounds on her body, as well as second and third-degree burns. Tanique and Delvari had severe burns on their body, but they died from smoke inhalation.

Over the course of the ten-day trial, prosecutors say they will present DNA evidence from the bloody knife and a bloody tee-shirt that links Hill to the crime, as well as a cell phone that puts him at the crime scene.

However, defense attorneys argued that while the evidence says what happened to the victims, it does not say who did it. They also said that evidence found at the crime scene, like DNA under the victims' finger nails could not be linked to Hill.

After the murders, Hill was arrested in Buffalo, NY where he had been staying in a homeless shelter under an assumed identity.

Prosecutors say they plan to bring forward multiple witnesses who will testify to Hill's attempt to flee to North Carolina after the murder. However, defense attorneys say Hill ran because he knew the police were looking for him and did not think anyone would believe he was innocent.

Hill is facing six counts of capital murder charges, as well as four counts of first-degree murder, arson, making threatening phone calls, and violating a protective order.

While this is a capital murder case, Hill is not facing the death penalty.

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