A Texarkana teen accused of murdering his uncle entered not guilty pleas Friday to charges of capital murder and unauthorized use of a vehicle.
Andrew Deiontrey Hamilton stood with Bowie County Public Defender Shoaib Daredia before 202nd District Judge John Tidwell for arraignment Friday morning. Daredia asked Tidwell to schedule the case for a jury trial as soon as possible. Assistant District Attorney Katie Carter said the next available trial date on the court’s schedule is in August.
Andrew Hamilton, aka Riko Gambino, allegedly murdered his uncle, Winfred Hamilton, 61, and of stole guns, jewelry and other valuables from another uncle, Roland Hamilton, according to a probable cause affidavit.
Roland Hamilton called police after finding Winfred Hamilton’s body on the living room floor Sept. 14 of the home the two uncles shared with their nephew in a house in the 400 block of Village Lane in Wake Village, Texas. Winfred Hamilton had been shot once in the head.
Roland Hamilton told investigators Winfred Hamilton and Andrew Hamilton were home when he left the house after 6 p.m. Sept. 14 but that Andrew Hamilton was gone when he returned home around 11 p.m. and found his brother dead. Roland Hamilton told investigators that a safe in his bedroom had been broken into and that items including handguns, jewelry and old coins were missing, along with ammunition. Also missing was a 1998 Oldsmobile Delta 88 which is owned by Roland Hamilton and frequently driven by Winfred Hamilton.
Andrew Hamilton was arrested at approximately 4:40 a.m. Sept. 15 by members of the Texarkana, Texas, Police Department. Items which had been stolen from Roland Hamilton’s bedroom including a .357 pistol, a holster, jewelry and coins were allegedly found in the Oldsmobile at the time of Andrew Hamilton’s arrest.
Police later recovered a Cobra .380 pistol believed to have been stolen from Roland Hamilton’s bedroom which Andrew Hamilton had allegedly sold to another person. According to the affidavit, investigators believe the .380 pistol was used to kill Winfred Hamilton.
Tidwell scheduled the case for jury selection August 14. Andrew Hamilton is currently being held in the Bowie County jail with bail set at $1 million. Tidwell scheduled Andrew Hamilton to return to court Feb. 12 for a pretrial hearing.
The state is not seeking the death penalty for Andrew Hamilton. His age and other factors make it unlikely a jury could find him eligible for a death sentence under Texas law which requires a finding that he would continue to present a danger to others if sentenced to life without parole. If convicted of capital murder, Andrew Hamilton will be sentenced to life with no possibility of parole.