Camden County Prosecutor Warren W. Faulk reported a Camden man pleaded guilty for a second time Wednesday to participating in the 2010 killings of a young man and woman in Camden.
Kuasheim Powell, M/28, of the 500 block of Berkley Street in Camden, pled guilty to
two counts of Murder before Superior Court Judge John Kelley Wednesday morning. He admitted taking part in the killings of Muriah Huff, F/18, and Michael Hawkins, M/23, on February 22, 2010. He also pled guilty to two counts of Attempted Murder for shooting and injuring two brothers in an unrelated incident in Pennsauken on February 21, 2010. The terms of the plea agreement call for Powell to be sentenced to a term of 40 years incarceration, 85 percent of which must be served before he is eligible for parole.
Powell had previously pleaded guilty to the same charges in August 2011 in exchange for a 30 year state prison sentence and his cooperation in the prosecution of codefendants in the case. He refused to provide testimony in the trial of Clive Hinds last year. As a result a superior court judge vacated the guilty plea at the request of the state.
As part of the new plea’s terms Powell is expected to be sentenced to two terms of 30 years in a New
Jersey state prison for the Murder charges and two terms of 10 years for the Attempted Murder charges. In the original plea, all terms would have been served concurrently. Under the new agreement, the terms for Murder are to be served consecutively to the terms for Attempted Murder. He must serve 38 and a half years before he is eligible for parole.
Powell pleaded that his co-defendants in this case had begun assaulting Hawkins before he arrived at the home on the 500 block of Berkley Street. Others at the home called him to inform him Hawkins was being
beaten, and to seek guidance as to what they should do with him. He arrived with co-defendants
David Hardwick, Keenan Wideman and Clive Hinds and a firearm, he stated. He went upstairs and
found Hawkins bound and beaten. He admitted to shooting Hawkins six times.
Huff was downstairs when Hawkins was shot and Powell admitted to ordering co-defendant
Shaniqua Pierre to beat up the teenager, Powell said. He also admitted that when another codefendant,
Peter Leonce, asked him what should be done with Huff he sanctioned the young woman’s murder.
Hawkins was assaulted due to a gang-related dispute with members of Powell’s group. Huff, who
was dating Hawkins at the time, was an innocent bystander who was killed to prevent her from
identifying Hawkins’ killers.
Powell’s sentencing is scheduled before Judge Kelley on May 2.