GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A friend and a cousin of Jahleel Hoskins say he’s admitted to killing his girlfriend and throwing her body in a Dumpster.
Latrice Maze, 26, went missing on March 19. Police say her body has most likely been incinerated after being emptied from that Dumpster.
Hoskins, 25, was in court Wednesday for his preliminary hearing.
He’s been in jail since April 23 and – according to Grand Rapids Police – had a plan for his murder defense before he was arrested.
Detectives say they wired an inmate at Kent County Jail and recorded more than 100 hours of conversation between Hoskins and the inmate.
In a May 1 conversation – days before he was charged with Maze’s murder – Hoskins tells the inmate he told his cousin how to handle any police questioning.
“I said, ‘Cuz, let’s assume at some point and time – even though they don’t have a case – at some point in time, they’re gonna lock me up for (the murder,)” Hoskins says in the recording.
That cousin, Gregory Shanklin, has been charged with perjury in the investigation, but came clean about what he knows on the stand Wednesday:
Shanklin: “I guess he was thinking about it.”
Prosecutor: “Thinking about what?”
Shanklin: “About doing it.”
Prosecutor: “Doing what?”
Shanklin: “Killing her.”
Prosecutor: “Did he tell you that?”
Shanklin also says Hoskins told him that he choked Maze to death, then wrapped her body in a sheet from her daughter’s bed.
This happened after a domestic disturbance call earlier on March 19.
Police dashcam video shown in court Wednesday includes the responding officer offering both Hoskins and Maze transport away from their home. Both declined.
Afterwards, Destin Peak says Hoskins, a friend of his, asked Peak about the trash disposal situation at Pepperwood Apartments, where Peak lives.
“He said, ‘I did her. I need some help. I can’t carry her by myself,” Peak testified.
Wednesday’s testimony was tough to take in for the many members of Maze’s family gathered in the courtroom.
“We wanted closure, but we didn’t know all this evidence and everything that took place that just came out in court,” Victoria Ezell, Maze’s aunt, says. “It’s just incredible.”
The hearing is in recess until a later date. Hoskins is being held without bond.