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Michigan Court of Appeals Upholds Conviction

Mark Anthony Jones Jr robbed an elderly woman in her home, shooting and killing her in the process. He was summarily charged and convicted of felony murder. But that was five years ago, in 2010. Recently, Jones began to feel that there were issues at his trial and he was denied true justice. The Michigan Court of Appeals, however, disagrees, and has chosen to uphold his conviction.

At the time, Jones was only 14, making him Genesee County’s youngest person to be charged with murder. He was sentenced to serve 40 to 60 years in prison. He is currently behind bars in Chippewa Correctional Facility in the Upper Peninsula. His current release date is set for 2052.

According to court documentation, Jones’ attorney argued that his prosecution should be overturned for two specific reasons. The first reason was that at the original trial the prosecutors had been improperly allowed to introduce evidence of previous crimes that Jones had committed. Specifically two other incidents that both involved elderly persons.

Prosecution failed to uncover the cousin’s whereabouts

The second reason given was that the authorities should have tracked down Jones’ cousin. The cousin is accused of helping Jones in his attempts to cover up the crime. However, the prosecution failed to uncover the cousin’s whereabouts at the time of the trial.

Despite the fact that the cousin wasn’t available to testify, the court allowed the prosecution to introduce a transcript of his former preliminary exam testimony at trial. In the transcript was the statement that Jones had apparently admitted the killing to his cousin, who had later hidden the murder weapon for him and then used the victim’s credit card.

After his arrest Jones also admitted to the police that he killed the elderly woman during the burglary. However, during his trial he denied this, saying that his cousin and others had been the actual killers.

According to the motions filed by Jones’ attorney, the sentence should be overturned on the grounds that Genesee Circuit Judge Archie Hayman had abused his discretion in allowing this evidence to be admitted at trial. But the Michigan Court of Appeals wasn’t buying it.

The Michigan Court of Appeals formally ruled that the Judge did not abuse his discretion, and also ruled to uphold Jones’ sentence.  And 19-year-old Mark Anthony Jones Jr. remains in prison.

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