Suspect In Double Murder Will Stand Trial

By: Cayle Thompson Email
By: Cayle Thompson Email

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Wednesday, September 2, 2009

After a brief hearing Wednesday morning, a judge ruled the suspect in a July double-murder will stand trial.

Austin Jones, 21, is accused of shooting and killing Emmanuel Delatorre and Jesus Esparza in the 4000 block of Memory Lane on July 2.

Wednesday, an eyewitness - who did not want to be identified - said he and Delatorre, 23, showed up to the apartment complex after having visited a nearby bar. The two men met with Esparza, 18, in the apartment parking lot. Delatorre went inside the apartment to grab another beer, where the witness says Delatorre and Jones would have met.

The witness told the judge Delatorre was angry with Jones over rumors Jones had helped Delatorre's girlfriend move out of their shared apartment.

The witness said Delatorre left the apartment after a few minutes, deciding not to fight with Jones. Back in the parking lot, the witness, Delatorre and Esparza talked about whether Delatorre should go back and confront Jones a second time.

That's when the witness says he saw Jones come out of the apartment, raise a gun, and shoot Delatorre from behind. The witness says Jones then turned and fired on Esparza, hitting him in the head. The witness says he ran from the crime scene, hearing gunshots behind him and fearing he was the next target.

Police say Jones fled the scene in a green truck, which he later crashed.

After hearing from other witnesses and police detectives, the judge determined Jones will stand trial. The judge also added a charge of aggravated assault to Jone's case, saying the crime's key witness was a victim.

Jones will be formally arraigned on Friday, September 4, at which time the judge will set a date for trial. If, Jones could face up to life in prison.

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