Jones' jury is polled

February 15, 2005|by PEPPER BALLARD

The Washington County Circuit jury that convicted Tyshawn Jones in January in the March 2004 shooting death of Jonathan M. Dennis was called into the courthouse Monday to be polled on the unanimity of its verdict.

The jury affirmed that its verdicts remained the same.

On Jan. 5, Jones, 23, whose last known address before his arrest was 113 S. Locust St., was convicted of first-degree felony murder and second-degree depraved heart murder among other charges in the March 14, 2004, death of Dennis, 19, at Washington Gardens Apartments. Depraved heart murder means killing someone while "acting with extreme disregard for human life," Washington County Circuit Judge John H. McDowell has said.

The jury deliberated for about 90 minutes before reaching those verdicts.

On Monday, McDowell told the 12 jurors that, in light of recent cases, it was important for him to poll the jury and make sure its verdict and the jurors' individual verdicts were unanimous and had not changed. He did not elaborate.


McDowell could not be reached after the hearing.

A Circuit Court clerk went over the verdict sheet with the jury foreman, who read the verdicts the jury reached at trial. The clerk polled the jurors as a group and individually to ask whether their decisions stand and were made individually.

Jones' defense attorney, Michael Wilson, formally withdrew his motion for a new trial at the hearing Monday.

A presentence investigation ordered for Jones had not been completed and a sentencing date was not set.

Jones' co-defendant, Azaniah Blankumsee, 26, was convicted Dec. 3 on charges of felony murder and armed robbery in connection with Dennis' death. He is scheduled to be sentenced Wednesday.

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