ORANGE, NJ — Acting Essex County Prosecutor Theodore N. Stephens II announced Oct. 13 that Khalil A. Wheeler-Weaver, 25, has been indicted for the murder of 15-year-old Mawa Doumbia, of Newark. Wheeler-Weaver, a former Orange resident, is currently serving a 160-year prison sentence for killing three young women and attempting to kill a fourth between August and November 2016.
In this newest case, the victim’s father and sister last saw her on the evening of Oct. 7, 2016, as she was leaving the family home in Newark. She was reported missing but efforts to locate her were unsuccessful. On May 9, 2019, decomposed human remains were discovered face down on the second floor of an old carriage house on Main Street in Orange. An autopsy revealed the cause of death to be homicide by ligature strangulation. The remains were positively identified on Nov. 5, 2021, as those of Doumbia.
According to law enforcement, following an investigation involving extensive digital evidence, it was determined that on Oct. 7, 2016, Wheeler-Weaver met the young girl online and solicited her to meet him in person for sex. It is alleged that he traveled to the area of her residence then to the murder scene where he strangled her to death and left her remains concealed within the vacant building.
In addition to murder, the defendant is charged with attempted sexual assault of a minor, endangering the welfare of a child and desecration of human remains.
These are allegations. All defendants are presumed innocent unless and until they enter a guilty plea or are found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
Prior to this, in December 2019, an Essex County jury convicted Wheeler-Weaver on three counts of murder in connection with the deaths of Sarah Butler, 20; Robin West, 19; and Joanne Brown, 33. He was also found guilty of the kidnapping, sexual assault and attempted murder of a fourth woman, Tiffany Taylor, who survived her attack. The jury also convicted him of three counts of desecration of human remains and aggravated arson.
Butler, a Montclair resident who was attending Jersey City University was murdered on Nov. 22, 2016. Her body was found in Eagle Rock Reservation in West Orange on Dec. 1, 2016. Brown, a Newark resident, was murdered on Oct. 22, 2016. Her body was found in a vacant home in Orange on Dec. 5, 2016. West, a native of Philadelphia, Pa., who was living in Union Township, was murdered on Sept. 1, 2016, in Orange. Wheeler-Weaver set fire to her body and then torched the vacant home.
On Oct. 6, 2021, Superior Court Judge Mark Ali sentenced Wheeler-Weaver to 160 years in New Jersey State Prison. Under the No Early Release Act, Wheeler-Weaver must serve 145 years before he is eligible for parole.