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State v. Jones

Court of Appeals of Louisiana, Second Circuit

May 20, 2015

STATE OF LOUISIANA, Appellee
v.
PAUL ANTHONY JONES, Appellant

Page 407

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 408

Appealed from the First Judicial District Court for the Parish of Caddo, Louisiana. Trial Court No. 311540. Honorable E. Joseph Bleich, Judge.

DOUGLAS LEE HARVILLE, Louisiana Appellate Project, Counsel for Appellant.

DALE G. COX, District Attorney; SARAH S. MIDBOE HOOD, JESSICA DIANE CASSIDY, Assistant District Attorneys, Counsel for Appellee.

Before STEWART, LOLLEY and GARRETT, JJ.

OPINION

Page 409

[49,830 La.App. 2 Cir. 1] LOLLEY, J.

This criminal appeal arises from the First Judicial District Court, Parish of Caddo, State of Louisiana, whereby a jury convicted the defendant, Paul Anthony Jones, of second degree murder, a violation of La. R.S. 14:30.1. He was sentenced to serve 60 years at hard labor without benefit of parole. After the trial court denied Jones's motion to reconsider sentence, he now appeals. For the following reasons, we affirm his conviction and sentence.

Facts

On April 13, 2009, Paul Anthony Jones was involved in an argument that occurred between rival gangs of young men at the Canaan Village Apartments in Shreveport, Louisiana. At some point during the argument, Jones's friend, Joshua Brooks[1] retrieved an assault rifle, known as a " chopper," from a nearby apartment. Joshua fired the weapon twice into the ground as he and his brother, Jeremy Brooks[2] struggled over the gun. Jeremy took hold of the weapon and fired at the crowd of people surrounding them. Jones then pulled out the 9mm handgun he was carrying

Page 410

and fired at least 27 rounds at the fleeing crowd.

Terrell Savore, a 15-year-old unarmed, innocent bystander, suffered a fatal gunshot wound as a result of the shooting. Terrell was found lying in [49,830 La.App. 2 Cir. 2] the parking lot at the top of the hill with gunshot wounds to his rear buttocks area and to his left wrist. The gas tank of a nearby vehicle had been punctured by a bullet.

No bullet fragments were recovered from the victim's body and no guns were recovered at the scene. Twenty-seven shell casings and bullet jackets were found at the scene by detectives.

After a police investigation, Joshua Brooks, Jeremy Brooks, and Jones were arrested and charged by bill of indictment for the first degree murder of Terrell Savore. The charges were later amended to second degree murder. Jeremy Brooks was tried separately and convicted as charged.

Joshua Brooks and Jones were tried as codefendants in January 2013. During the trial, witness testimony was heard placing Jones at the scene as one of the shooters. After hearing all the evidence, the jury returned a 10-2 verdict of guilty of second degree murder as to both Joshua Brooks and Jones. A presentence investigation report (" PSI" ) was ordered prior to the sentencing hearing. At the sentencing hearing, after lengthy consideration by the trial court, Jones was sentenced to 60 years at hard ...


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