Suspect Charged With Murder Of Pregnant Teen
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UPDATED 08/22/11 3:46 p.m.
CHICAGO (CBS) — An 18-year-old man was ordered held without bond on Monday, charged with killing a pregnant teenage girl last week.
As CBS 2’s Mike Puccinelli reports, Timothy Jones, 18, was arrested on Sunday at his home, and faces first-degree murder charges. He was denied bond at a hearing on Monday at the Cook County Criminal Courthouse.
Police say witnesses fingered Jones as the gunman who shot and killed Charinez Jefferson, 17, late this past Tuesday at 64th and Whipple streets, near her home.
Police said Charinez was walking with a group of people around 10:35 p.m. Tuesday, when a man whom no one in the group knew got out of a car and walked up to them. Then he opened fire, as everyone else scattered.
As CBS 2′s Derrick Blakley reports, prosecutors said Jones intended to kill the young man – a member of a rival gang – who was walking with Jefferson at the time.
But that doesn’t explain why Jones then shot Charinez multiple times while she begged for her life and authorities can’t figure that out, either.
“I realize now she had been shot four times,” Charinez’s mother Debbie Jefferson said.
That was one of the painful revelations at Monday’s bond hearing for Jones – that Charinez had been shot four times in the head, buttocks and chest.
LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Lisa Fielding reports
Police said Jones jumped out of a car, intending to shoot a gang rival who was walking with Charinez. But, for some unknown reason, Jones then zeroed in on Jefferson.
“The defendant then began to approach the victim, who pleaded with the defendant not to shoot her, as she was pregnant. But the defendant opened fire and began shooting the victim while calling her names,” Assistant Cook County State’s Atty. John Dillon said.
Charinez’s companion fled and prosecutors said they don’t know why Jones all but executed Charinez.
Her mother wanted to know the answer to that question as well.
“I can’t answer why he shot her. If I had the answer to that, I probably would feel much better about the whole situation,” Debbie Jefferson said.
Charinez was six months pregnant at the time she was shot and killed. Doctors at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn were able to save her baby, named Kahmani Jabez Mims, with an emergency Caesarean section. But Charinez did not survive.
Meantime, Jones’ relatives insisted that police arrested the wrong man. They said Jones, who is a father himself, was at home at the time Charinez was killed, recovering after he had been shot two days earlier.
“My cousin was in the house all that day, because he had just got himself. And his mother wouldn’t even let him go out if he wanted to go out,” Jones’ cousin Stanley Jones said. “He wasn’t even involved in the murder. He was in the house trying to heal from his wounds. He had just got shot.”
Dakota Harris, the mother of Timothy Jones’ child, said, “He got his own baby to think about. He won’t even do that to nobody else’s child.
Jones has an extensive juvenile record, including convictions for gun violations, burglary and possession of a stolen car. If convicted, he faces a possible sentence of life in prison.
Meatime, Charinez’s mother was preparing to say goodbye to her daughter for the final time at a funeral scheduled for Tuesday night.
On Sunday afternoon, a vigil was held in the Marquette Park neighborhood. Marchers carried a symbolic casket to dramatize the horror of a life cut short. But while mourners and activists gathered to march and pray, shots rang out just a few blocks away.
“We’re doing an anti-violence march, but that just goes to show you that it can happen at any time,” said community activist Andrew Holmes. “But we aren’t running. We’re not scared, and if we have to assist the Police Department in giving chase and giving them a direction to go, and help them, we will. But thanks to the Chicago Police Department, they’re right there on the spot.”
No one was reported injured in the Sunday incident. Police responded immediately, but no one was in custody in that incident as of Monday morning.