Camden County Prosecutor Mary Eva Colalillo and Camden County Police Chief Scott Thomson reported a woman pleaded guilty Wednesday in connection with helping two of her children try to conceal evidence of a 2010 gang-related double slaying at her Camden home.
Arnetta Welch, F/42, of Camden, pleaded guilty before Superior Court Judge Daniel A. Bernardin to one count of Hindering Apprehension.
Welch is accused of purchasing cleaning supplies and assisting with the removal of evidence after Michael Hawkins, M/23, of Mount Holly, and Muriah Huff, F/18, of Cinnaminson, were murdered at her home on the 500 block of Berkley Street on February 22, 2010.
Welch is scheduled to be sentenced before Superior Court Judge Richard F. Wells on March 6. She faces a sentence of two years of probation.
Two of Welch’s children, Shatara Carter, F/19, and Dennis Welch, M/24, both of Camden, were among the 10 defendants who have been convicted or pleaded guilty for their roles in the slayings.
Investigators believe Hawkins was killed due to disagreements with members of the Bloods street gang. Hawkins had raised the ire of the gang members because of his involvement with a rival gang, the Crips, and through perceived minor offenses. One of the catalysts for the assault and killing was Bloods’ members belief that Hawkins had stolen a bottle of liquor from them.
Hawkins was beaten, gagged and bound, and placed in a bedroom closet. After additional gang members arrived at the Berkley Street home, he was shot, stabbed and beaten again.
Huff was dating Hawkins and was present with him at the Berkley Street home. She was murdered after Hawkins’ killers worried about her being a witness to Hawkins’ death.
Police found the bodies of Hawkins and Huff buried in the backyard of the Berkley Street home on February 25, 2010.
Dennis Welch pleaded guilty to Aggravated Manslaughter in 2013 and was sentenced to 25 years in prison. Carter, who was 14 at the time of the killings, pleaded guilty as an adult to Aggravated Manslaughter in 2014 and was sentenced to 22 years in prison.
In all, 10 defendants were successfully prosecuted for the murders; eight defendants pleaded guilty and two were convicted after trial. The total time of imprisonment imposed on these defendants was 297 years.
Released Wednesday, January 28, 2015.