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Decatur man pleads not guilty to attempted murder, other felony charges
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Decatur man pleads not guilty to attempted murder, other felony charges

Jacquez L. Jones


DECATUR — Jacquez L. Jones appeared in Macon County Circuit Court pleading not guilty to attempted murder in a case where he is accused of gunning a Decatur man down in a hail of bullets.

Judge Phoebe Bowers found probable cause to try Jones, 20, for the Jan. 9 shooting in the 200 block of East Olive Street after his court appearance Wednesday. Jones also pleaded not guilty to a charge of aggravated battery involving the discharge of a firearm in the incident, in which prosecutors say the victim was shot six times.

Giving evidence earlier and describing the investigation, Decatur police Detective Jason Derbort said officers were called to the shooting scene on reports of shots fired. They were busy cataloging spent shell casings, blood spatters and bullet holes in surrounding property when they were told the gunshot victim had arrived at Decatur Memorial Hospital.

Subsequent interviews with eyewitnesses pointed to Jones as the shooter, who was seen firing from a car window.

Defense attorney Dave Ellison questioned the eye-witness evidence, focusing on the fact that Jones was seen apparently hanging out of the car window and driving the vehicle at the same time. He asked Derbort whether any tests for gunshot residue had been performed on Jones' body or clothing and was told they had not.

Jones was arrested around 3:38 a.m. Jan. 11 following a high-speed vehicle chase across Decatur that police said touched speeds of more than 100 mph. Bowers also found probable cause Wednesday to try Jones on multiple charges arising out of that incident, and he pleaded not guilty to two charges of aggravated fleeing and one count of resisting peace officers.

A sworn affidavit about the chase said it began when police tried to pull a pickup truck over for a traffic violation at the intersection of West North and North Pine streets.

Giving evidence in court, Officer Adam Siefman said the truck was later discovered abandoned just north of Forest Avenue. After a search, Jones was found and arrested at his home on West Macon Street. He had been sought on a warrant since the Jan. 9 shooting.

Ellison asked if any police officers had actually identified Jones as driving during the chase and Siefman said they had not. A sworn affidavit said other people present in the fleeing vehicle had named Jones as the driver.

Jones' legal troubles also extend to another, unrelated case, in which he has pleaded not guilty to armed violence, two counts of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, one count of dealing cocaine and one count of possession of the drug.

A sworn affidavit said Jones was arrested at the Macon County Courthouse on Oct. 23, where he was appearing on another matter, after police investigated reports of a man with a gun threatening people in the area of West Decatur and South Edward streets.

A description of the suspect matched Jones and police found out he was in the courthouse. The affidavit said a search of his vehicle parked in the courthouse lot led to the seizure of a 9mm handgun and 44 grams of crack cocaine.

Jones is due back in court for a pretrial hearing on this case March 9. Pretrial hearings for the attempted murder and vehicle chase cases are both scheduled for March 12. Jones remains held in custody at the Macon County Jail with no bond available.

Contact Tony Reid at (217) 421-7977. Follow him on Twitter: @TonyJReid


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