Teacher was fatally shot in Dunkin’ drive-thru by a hitman hired by romantic rival, DA says


NORRISTOWN — A Philadelphia man and Montgomery County woman have been arrested in the fatal shooting of Rachel King in the Dunkin’ drive-thru lane in Cheltenham, Montgomery County.

Zakkee S. Alhakim, 33, and Julie Jean, 34, of Elkins Park, with first-degree murder, conspiracy and related offenses in the shooting death of the 35-year-old mother on April 11.

Julie Jean
Julie Jean 

“This cold-blooded killing of Rachel King was a targeted murder of an innocent person, planned by these two defendants and horrifically carried out in front of King’s son,” Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin R. Steele said. “It is a tragic killing of a good person, all because of an ended affair.”

Cheltenham Township police were dispatched about 7:30 a.m. to the Melrose Shopping Center for the report of a shooting.

On arrival, police found King dead in the driver’s seat of her Ford Edge, which had come to a rest on a parking island near the Dunkin’ drive-thru lane.

In processing the murder scene, detectives recovered six 9 mm fired cartridge casings. Alhakim had walked up to the car and opened fire, police said.

Investigators gave this account:

Cheltenham police and county detectives launched a joint homicide investigation.

Through interviews and surveillance videos, detectives determined that the victim’s car was followed from her residence in the Lynnewood Gardens apartments by a silver Mercury Sable driven by Alhakim.

Cellphone evidence and surveillance video showed that Alhakim had previously been outside of King’s residence in the days leading up to the murder and had watched her movements.

On the morning of the murder, the investigation found that when King pulled her vehicle into a line of traffic in the Dunkin’ drive-thru lane, Alhakim parked the Sable a short distance away, then walked to the driver’s side window of King’s vehicle and shot her multiple times, killing her.

Alhakim returned to his vehicle and drove away.

The day after the murder, detectives located additional surveillance video on the route from King’s residence to the Dunkin’, which clearly showed the Sable’s license plate was PA DYR-9012.

The details

Zakkee Steven Alhakim
Zakkee Steven Alhakim 

The investigation found that Alhakim and Jean planned and conspired to murder King, who was the longtime girlfriend of William Hayes.

Jean and Hayes had an affair last year, and after Hayes broke it off, Jean continued to text, call and harass both King and Hayes, prompting Hayes to obtain a protection-from-abuse order against Jean.

The connection between the two defendants, detectives learned, was through the father of Jean’s three children, who was Alhakim’s cousin.

Through an examination of the call detail records and cellular phone downloads of the two defendants, detectives found that contact between the two had been deleted from their cellular phones, with Jean deleting 787 texts just 13 minutes prior to her interview with detectives on April 12.

Many of those communications were able to be recovered by law enforcement, including the last message that Jean sent to Alhakim, which was sent through CashApp at 12:11 p.m. on the day of the murder.

It was a payment of $5, with the emoji message that is interpreted to mean “link up, message me, no phones, that’s it.”

The investigation found that Alhakim and Jean were connected through the Mercury Sable driven by Alhakim.

Alhakim obtained the vehicle on March 30, Less than two weeks before the murder, when Alhakim and Jean went together to buy it at a shop on 61st Street in Philadelphia.

The vehicle was purchased in Julie Jean’s name.

Later on the day of the murder, Philadelphia police spotted the Sable, which was sought in King’s killing as well as for an April 7  murder in Philadelphia at 5100 N. Broad St.

When officers attempted a traffic stop, the driver fled at a high rate of speed until the car crashed into a fence on 16th Street.

Alhakim was taken into custody and charged with the Philadelphia homicide. At the Philadelphia murder scene, 11 9 mm fired cartridge casings were recovered.

All of the casings from the Philadelphia and Cheltenham murders were entered into Montgomery County’s new National Integrated Ballistic Information Network machine, and on April 13, the system determined that there was a match between the casings from the Philadelphia and Cheltenham murders.

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