A fugitive was arrested in connection with a quadruple murder case that had landed him on the FBI’s “Ten Most Wanted Fugitives” list the day before. Marlon Jones was charged with four counts of murder in the Oct. 15 shooting at a residence that was home to a popular South Los Angeles Jamaican restaurant. According to the Los Angeles Times, Jones was at a party at the location when a fight broke out and shots were fired, killing four and wounding ten. Based upon the facts available so far, he will face special circumstances allegations that make him eligible for the death penalty if convicted.
Gun Battle Left Four Dead: According to FBI officials at the Los Angeles Field Office, Jones was attending the party and got into an altercation with a member of a Jamaican gang. He shot and killed the man, and then opened fire on others attending the party on October 15, 2016. A federal arrest warrant was issued two weeks later, but the announcement placing Jones on the FBI’s Most Wanted List wasn’t issued until December 1, 2016. In their release, authorities mentioned that Jones is a convicted felon with a criminal history and that he should be considered extremely violent, armed and dangerous.
Officials also stated that Jones himself is a member of a rival gang, an East Coast Jamaican group that illegally traffics in marijuana. The crew operates nationwide and is more sophisticated than a typical street gang, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. Some of their activities rise to the level of organized crime, though the charges against Jones do not include such allegations.
Increased Publicity from FBI List was a Factor: Officials believe that the public announcement of Jones on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted list helped law enforcement agencies capture him. The FBI Fugitive Task Force received a tip on Jones’ whereabouts after making the announcement and mentioning a $100,000 reward for information leading to Jones’ capture.
Special Circumstance Allegations: Jones is charged with four counts of murder, as well as a “special circumstance allegation.” This type of accusation applies when an accused commits the offense of murder and there are certain facts present that make him or her eligible for the death penalty. In Jones’ case, there were multiple murders, so the prosecuting attorneys may seek the death penalty. Other special circumstances include killing a law enforcement official, drive-by shooting murder, lying in wait, and murder involving torture. Murder by a street gang member also falls under special circumstances, but it was not specifically cited by authorities.
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Any charge of murder will carry a substantial prison sentence, but punishment is even more severe when special circumstances exist to support the death penalty. Prosecutors have not yet made the determination on whether to seek the death penalty against Jones, and they may decide to do so based on the facts which make him eligible. If you’re facing murder charges with special circumstances allegations, you need an experienced attorney who will fight vigorously to protect your rights. To discuss your case details or schedule a consultation with a criminal defense lawyer in San Diego, please contact the Ozols Law Firm.
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