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New London police: Couple conspired to carry out violent robbery

By Karen Florin

Publication: theday.com

Published January 10. 2014 4:00PM   Updated January 10. 2014 4:28PM
Handout photo/New London Police Department
In this New London Police Department handout photo, Marquice Hawkins was arraigned in New London Superior Court Friday, Jan. 10, 2014.

Five months after he finished a prison sentence for carjacking a man and forcing him into the trunk of his car, New London police say 27-year-old Marquice Hawkins pulled on a ski mask and gloves and once again carried out a violent robbery.

Hawkins, most recently of Middletown, and Deahanna Nobleza, 27, of New London, were arraigned in Superior Court Friday on charges they planned an attack on Nobleza’s boyfriend at his apartment at 848 Bank St. on Oct. 7, 2013. Called to the scene by a person who said the victim appeared to be “bleeding to death,” police found the man standing in the doorway, covered in blood, his hands and feet tightly bound by zip ties, according to an arrest warrant affidavit.

Hawkins, charged with first-degree robbery, second-degree assault and first-degree unlawful restraint, was brought before Judge Kevin P. McMahon wearing baggy jeans, a grey sweatshirt, handcuffs and leg irons. The judge, noting the severity of the victim’s injuries, ordered Hawkins held in lieu of $300,000 bond and transferred the case to the court where major crimes are heard. His next court date is Jan. 21.

Nobleza, arraigned on charges of first-degree robbery and conspiracy to commit first-degree robbery, was ordered held in lieu of $250,000. Her case also was transferred to the major crimes court and continued to Jan. 21.

The victim, who is not identified in court documents, told police he was walking up to his third-floor apartment after buying candy for Nobleza when a man wearing a ski mask and rubber gloves struck him hard on the back of the head. He said he wrestled with the man, and they both fell down the stairs. He said the man threatened to kill him if he moved, bound him with zip ties and stole his wallet, cash and his cell phone. He said he and Nobleza broke up three days earlier, but she still lived with him. He said she had resumed using heroin after being kicked out of a Methadone program and that she had been sending out text messages before he was attacked.

The victim was hospitalized with gashes on his head, a broken hand, a small fracture to the spine and cuts to the abdomen, according to the police.

Nobleza called 911 and asked police to check on the victim after the robbery, but hung up on a dispatcher when he told her the police were looking for her, according to the affidavit. Middletown Police, alerted Nobleza was due to return a rental car in their city that day, detained her and Hawkins at the car rental office and arrested Nobleza on drug charges after finding 5.6 grams of heroin in her purse, according to the affidavit. The police seized the car, which they said had drops of blood on the exterior, and took Hawkins’ shoes, which also appeared to have blood them, along with $700 in cash he was carrying, according to the warrant.

Over the next several weeks, detectives used cell phone records and interviews to build a case against Hawkins and Nobleza, according to the warrant affidavit. Before the robbery, Hawkins sent Nobleza a text message saying, “Send him to the store. I’m gonna get him when he comes back,” according to the affidavit. Hawkins went on to ask Nobleza, “Does he have a gun?” according to the text records.

Both denied taking part in the robbery, though Nobleza told the police she was living with the victim only because he was a heroin dealer and she was a user. She said she had started hanging around with Hawkins after his recent release from prison.

Hawkins, sentenced to seven years in prison for the February 2007 carjacking in Norwich, had been released from prison on May 30, 2013, according to the Department of Correction. In the carjacking case, he and another man, wearing masks and carrying gloves, confronted a man on Cedar Street, according to court testimony. They robbed the victim of his belongings, including $12 in cash, and drove around with him in the trunk of his car before eventually leaving him bound and gagged behind a vacant building.

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