Tuesday, August 8, 2023

The Disappearance & Murder of Emmishae Kirby

Emmishae Kirby vanished in Houston, Texas on September 18th, 2020. The 28-year-old vanished just weeks after ending a relationship with her boyfriend, 29-year-old Javon Gilbert. Emmishae and Javon had been living together up until September 2020 - when Emmishae ended their relationship after Javon reportedly sexually assaulted her. 

Despite their breakup, Javon showed up to the apartment unannounced on numerous occasions after their breakup. On one occasion, he broke into the apartment armed with a knife. Once Emmishae was reported missing, Javon became an obvious person of interest. 

Javon was questioned by police, but reportedly gave police conflicting statements. However, he did confirm that Emmishae had broken up with him earlier that month due to the sexual assault accusation. Still, Javon was not immediately charged with anything related to Emmishae's disappearance.

On October 3rd, 2020, searchers found Emmishae's body near Bear Creek Pioneers Park in Harris County. An autopsy later confirmed that she had been strangled and shot to death. From that point forward, Emmishae's case was shifted into a murder investigation.

Detectives looked at surveillance footage from her apartment building to see if they could retrace her final steps before she vanished. The footage confirmed that Emmishae and Javon were together on September 18th. Earlier that day, the two were captured entering Emmishae's car together and leaving the parking lot. They reportedly went to a gas station and a restaurant before returning to Emmishae's apartment. Emmishae and Javon were then captured walking back inside the building.

Hours later, at 1:40 AM, Javon is seen carrying a "heavy object" to Emmishae's car. He then drives off in her car before returning an hour later. Javon was later captured making several trips back and forth between Emmishae's apartment and the dumpster, where he threw away several items, including her sofa. 

After months of investigating, police finally arrested Javon on January 20th, 2021. He was charged with both Emmishae's murder and tampering with evidence. However, this was far from Javon's first violent criminal charge.

In fact, he was charged in 2013 with arson after setting his ex-wife's house on fire while she was inside. The maximum penalty for this felony is life in prison, but Javon received a much lighter sentence. In 2015, he accepted a plea deal and was sentenced to 8 years of deferred adjudication probation. 

As part of this deal, Javon would have this conviction erased from his record if he managed to stay out of trouble during the 8 years of probation. Since he ended up being arrested for Emmishae's murder while still on probation, it was clear that he had not complied with his end of the plea deal. As such, many hearings were held to revoke the adjudication probation. 

In April 2023, Javon was sentenced to life in prison for Emmishae's murder. Javon was looking at several years already for this charge alone, however, the judge ultimately sentenced him to life due to both this crime and the violation of his probation.

 After his sentencing, the Assistant District Attorney Mary McFaden told reporters, "A life sentence is the only punishment that makes sense because this man hurts women and will continue to hurt women. This ensures there will never be another day when he is not supervised."

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