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Suspect in Tenn. murder apprehended in Jackson

By Michael Benavides and Mark Rosman
Staff Writers

JACKSON – A man wanted in connection with a 2015 murder in Nashville, Tenn., has been arrested in Jackson and is awaiting extradition.

Jackson police said an incident that began as a motor vehicle stop ended with the apprehension of Javier Alexander Rivas, 19, whose last known residence was Lakewood. Police said Rivas was wanted in connection with a murder that occurred in Tennessee.

According to information provided by the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department, Rivas has been indicted as a result of his alleged involvement in the Oct. 25, 2015 murder of Olympia Hobbs, 33, at her Nashville residence. There were two children, ages 13 and 5, inside the home at the time of the shooting, which occurred at 2 a.m. The children were not injured.

In a press release issued on the day of Hobbs’ murder, Nashville detectives said they did not believe the shooting was random. They said they believed her residence was targeted.

One day later, on Oct. 26, 2015, Paige Elliott, 20, was charged with criminal homicide in connection with the murder of Hobbs.

According to the Nashville police, the investigation led to Rivas and he was subsequently indicted in connection with the murder of Hobbs.

Exactly one year later in Jackson, Officer Wes Thomason was on patrol shortly before 1:30 p.m. Oct. 25 when he observed a 2003 Mitsubishi traveling in excess of 50 mph in a 30 mph school zone on North Hope Chapel Road, according to police.

Thomason turned his vehicle in an attempt to stop the Mitsubishi and saw it turn on to New Central Avenue in what police said appeared to be an attempt to evade the officer. Police said Thomason caught up to the Mitsubishi and stopped it on Brewers Bridge Road.

Police identified the driver as Marco Hernandez, 20, of Lakewood, and said Thomason detected the odor of marijuana coming from inside the vehicle.

At that time, Officer Cassie De La Torre arrived at the scene to assist Thomason.

During a search of the Mitsubishi, a small quantity of a substance believed to be marijuana was found inside the vehicle. Police said they also recovered a large folding knife with a brass knuckle handle from under the driver’s seat.

Hernandez was arrested, taken into custody and charged with possession of over 50 grams of marijuana, unlawful possession of a weapon, speeding, having an obstructed view, driving with a suspended driver’s license, being an unlicensed driver and failure to install an ignition interlock device. Hernandez was released pending a court appearance.

Police said a male passenger in the vehicle could not be positively identified at the scene because he provided the officers with two names. Police subsequently used the Automated Fingerprint Identification System to identify the man as Rivas.

Police said Rivas had an outstanding warrant for his arrest for first degree murder from Tennessee, with full extradition. Jackson police charged Rivas with hindering apprehension. Rivas’ bail was set at $25,000 with no 10 percent option and he was placed in the Ocean County Jail, Toms River.

Sgt. Chris Parise and Officer Andy Falzarano assisted with the investigation.

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