Trial underway for Wichita man charged in crash that killed mother-to-be
WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) - Trial began Monday for a 39-year-old Wichita man charged in the death of a pregnant woman and in a crash nearly two years ago.
Javan Ervin is charged with first-degree murder, aggravated battery, two counts on felony flee and elude, two counts of criminal possession of a weapon, failure to stop at an accident resulting in death, and driving while suspended. He's accused in the death of Samantha Russell on July 6, 2021. Ervin has remained in custody on $500,000 bond ever since.
On that day, officers responded to a disturbance with a gun call at a hotel in the 7500 block of West Taft. A man told them a male suspect had robbed him at gunpoint and that he was able to run away. The victim told officer he saw the suspect leaving the hotel with another male.
Police spokesperson Trevor Macy said the robbery suspect was located and arrested near Maple and Ridge and Ervin fled in a white 2003 Dodge Ram.
A police pursuit was quickly terminated less than a mile from where Ervin allegedly ran the red light at Central and Ridge and crashed into three vehicles, including Russell's.
Police arrested Ervin following a short foot chase.
Samantha died at a local hospital. She was 33 weeks pregnant, and doctors delivered her son, Mac, in an emergency procedure.
State prison records show Ervin has a prior aggravated battery conviction and four robbery convictions. He's been in and out of prison since 2004 and was last released when his sentence expired on June 15, 2021, which was exactly three weeks before the chase and crash.