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Last updated: February 19. 2013 10:02PM - 588 Views

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WILKES-BARRE – A suspect in the killings of three people in Plymouth was charged Thursday in the deadly shooting of his cousin last summer.


Investigators charged Shawn Hamilton, 19, originally from Philadelphia, with criminal homicide in the death of Kenyatta Hughston, 22.


Hughston was gunned down in the middle of Jay Street, Wilkes-Barre, on July 6. He died in Mercy Suburban Hospital in Montgomery County on Oct. 10.


An autopsy showed Hughston died from two gunshot wounds to his head.


Investigators said Hamilton and Hughston were cousins.


Hamilton was charged after investigators alleged Hughston's blood and a spent round recovered on Jay Street matched blood found on sneakers and a gun that were seized from Hamilton's apartment on Ridge Street in Nanticoke.


Arrest papers do not specify a motive in the shooting, but alleges Hamilton was buying heroin from Hughston.


They grew up together; they were friends, said Olanda Carter, a friend to Hughston's family. I want to ask (Hamilton) why. Why shoot him in the head in the middle of the street?


Investigators searched Hamilton's apartment several hours after three people were killed in a shooting in a Plymouth apartment on First Street on July 7. An inventory receipt for Hamilton's apartment states investigators took bloody Nike sneakers, a loaded .40-caliber handgun, marijuana and heroin packets.


Hamilton and his half-brother, Sawud Uzi Davis, 16, allegedly killed Lisa Abaunza, 15, Nicholas Maldonado, 17, and Bradley Swartwood, 21, during what investigators said was a drug exchange of heroin and marijuana inside the Plymouth apartment.


Luzerne County Acting Coroner William Lisman testified during a recent preliminary hearing that Abaunza, Maldonado and Swartwood died from multiple gunshot wounds.


Maldonado's brother, Danny Maldonado, 19, survived gunshot wounds to his arm, abdomen and back.


After the Plymouth shootings, investigators allege, Hamilton and Davis were driven to Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center, Plains Township, where Maldonado's mother, Susana Handelong, claimed they were in a waiting room laughing and joking around, the night of July 7.


Hamilton and Davis were at the medical center intending to visit Hughston.


Hamilton was arraigned by Senior District Judge Thomas Sharkey in Wilkes-Barre and remanded to the Luzerne County Correctional Facility without bail.


Prosecutors on Monday filed notice in court that they intend to seek the death penalty for Hamilton if he is convicted of first-degree homicide in the Plymouth killings.


A preliminary hearing is scheduled on Feb. 19.


Edward Lewis, a Times Leader staff writer, may be reached at 829-7196.


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