China Nicole Kitchens: The Facebook Updates of a Texas Teen Who Might Have Squandered Break of a Lifetime
China Kitchens: Back in trouble.
After Dick DeGuerin helped her beat a potential capital murder rap at the tender age of 16, you'd think China Nicole Kitchens would try to straighten up and fly right. Today, it's looking like she has pissed that second chance away.
Back in 2008, Kitchens confessed to police that she had served as the lookout in an armed robbery of a Citgo store on Galveston's Seawall in which clerk Abdul Meje was killed. A court later heard that the foursome needed money to rent a motel room.
Kitchens's three co-defendants are all serving time. Triggerman Robert Stevens, now 37, was convicted of capital murder and is serving life without parole. Katie Wade and Matthew Hutchinson, each of whom is now 21, were sentenced respectively to 12 and 15 years in prison after pleading guilty to aggravated robbery.
Because Galveston police mishandled her arrest, DeGuerin (whose services were acquired by Kitchens's grandparents) managed to suppress much of the evidence against Kitchens, including a full confession in which Kitchens laughingly remembered some details of the crime.
In late April of 2010, after pleading guilty to aggravated robbery, she received ten years' deferred adjudication and was ordered to pay Meje's widow $50,000 restitution.
According to the Galveston County Daily News, Judge Susan Criss told Kitchens she was getting "the break of a lifetime" and warned her that any more offenses could result in her getting life behind bars. Criss told the girl that she "hated" having to give her the plea deal.
Criss warned the girl that if she returned to court, a jury would hear all about her role in the robbery and Meje's death. They would likely say to themselves that Kitchens had gotten away with murder, Criss warned.
Kitchens apparently kept on the straight and narrow for a while, but then early this year she started fucking up. On January 19, she got popped for public intoxication in her hometown of Rockport. On June 28 she was charged with DWI.
And at around that time, Kitchens joined Facebook and started putting her messy, tragic life on view to the world.
"I'm single again," she posted on July 15.
And then two days later: "I'm PREGO!!! By [redacted] exited I'm soooooo dam happy every one!!!"
The next day she clarified her situation: "I'm prego but me and [redacted] are not together."
The next day she said all systems were go with her pregnancy, and babydaddy actually was on board for bringing the kid into the world. She also had this to say: "its funny cuz I have a couple guys still trying to hook up while I'm prego how wierd."
On July 23, Babydaddy apparently acted out in dramatic fashion: "Let me tell yall howsorry my babys father is I'm prego he threw me out of my vehicle stole it stole my GPS all my technology in my vehicle how childish is that grow up [redacted] u have 6 kids man up."
(DeGuerin told the Galveston County News that the actual number of kids is five, by three different women, none of whom he married.)
Four days after that post came what might be the coup de grace for Kitchens's life as a free woman, at least for quite some time. After a traffic stop, Aransas County Sheriffs arrested her in Rockport for possession of heroin.
So let's see how many bad decisions we've got here...
Test the terms of your probation with increasingly serious misdemeanor arrests? Check.
Have unprotected sex with the Shawn Kemp of Aransas County? Check.
Dabble with freaking heroin while pregnant? Yeah buddy.
And oh yeah, commit a felony with a judge itching for any excuse to slap a life sentence on your ass? Let's do it.
Kitchens has since been shipped back to Galveston County, where she is currently being held without bond.
On Tuesday, her pregnancy ended in a jailhouse miscarriage.
DeGuerin is still in her corner. He told the Galveston paper that her miscarriage was probably a blessing, given that the baby's father was "a no-good SOB," and added that his client needs mental health counseling. Her failings stem from her being a very poor judge of character, DeGuerin claimed.
Whether a jury will agree with that charitable opinion remains to be seen.
But right now it's looking like a Peanut Gallery Crystal Ball Award should go to Internet commenter "Bob Bozelka" at the Daily News: "...[T]his scum of the earth juvenile will violate the terms of her release within the first year. She can't help it and guess what, she will spend the rest of her life behind bars as should be."
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Houston Press' biggest stories.