2009-04-10 / Top Stories

The Joker Gets Dealt A Homicide Hand

North Carolina Trial Begins Tuesday

Javon Capers will stand trial in North Carolina for murder. Javon Capers will stand trial in North Carolina for murder. On Sep. 13, 2008, as Javon Capers was walking out of a New York State prison where he was serving time for a Rockaway weapons possession charge, he was met by Shelby (North Carolina) Police officers. They quickly put the cuffs on the Rockaway man, known in Rockaway's public housing complexes and by the New York Police Department as "The Joker."

Capers was quickly extradited to North Carolina on homicide charges in the small southern city.

Now, the man that was once considered one of New York's most violent fugitives, a man who was featured both on the television show "America's Most Wanted," and on the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Most Wanted List, is getting ready for the trial of his life.

According to Nicholas Bissett, who is a news reporter for TV33 in Shelby,

Capers came to the North Carolina town in the late 1990s and allegedly set up shop, overseeing small-time street dealers.

Capers' name also surfaced a half dozen times in violent crimes and shootings that include the May 7, 1999 shooting at a former club known as Big D's in Shelby.

According to a report logged by a Shelby police officer on May 7, 1999, Capers was considered the only subject in a shooting that injured numerous people. When police responded to Big D's during that late Friday evening back in 1999, a witness stated that a man known only to her as "C" said that he was going into the club to shoot Kenyon Hopper.

That May night Hopper was rushed to Cleveland Regional Medical Center after he was shot in the leg by a man that he believed to be called "C." The former owner of Big D's, Bell Pink III, told TV33 that back in those days Javon Capers, also know as "C," "threw some money around and thought he was flashy and a gangster, but he seemed to be mostly hype."

Pink said that he didn't know Capers personally, but he knew of him and his "New York Boys." Chief Ledford of the Shelby Police Department told TV33 that, "Capers came down in the late '90s and his name was often mentioned. It was the first time that someone from up north came and started to throw around alleged gang affiliations." According to a source close to the case, though, Capers was more than just talk.

Ed Henson, a former NYPD detective with over 20 years on the force, was the thorn in Capers' paw. Henson, who is involved in the Kareem Bellamy case as well, told Bissett that Capers was "scum, and not this organized criminal that the media gives him credit for."

During Henson's 20-year stint on the force he worked as a housing police detective in Rockaway's public housing projects, including the Edgemere Houses.

In May of 1994, Henson reportedly arrested Capers in Edgemere for a shooting that occurred prior to February, in which an innocent woman was blinded. According to Henson that same shooting spurred the Hairston murder that later led to the shooting of Capers' brother.

In September of 1999, Shelby police took out a murder warrant on Capers. However, authorities could not locate him.

"The Joker" was reportedly out of the reach of the Shelby Police, until he was taken into custody yet again by NYPD officers in Rockaway after he was arrested for felony possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

In late May of 2001, Capers, who was wanted for murder in both Rockaway and North Carolina, was spotted on a Brooklyn street. Police chased him into a structure on Knickerbocker Avenue, where he was found hiding in a closet. Capers had two guns in his possession, but police say that he offered no resistance when they pulled him from the closet.

He was convicted of third-degree criminal possession of a weapon and second-degree assault following the 2001 arrest.

Upon his release from prison for that conviction, he was arrested by North Carolina police officers.

Jury selection for the murder case against Capers is scheduled to begin on April 13.

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