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City man awaiting new trial ordered held on secured bond

July 10, 2007|By ERIN JULIUS

HAGERSTOWN - A Hagerstown man whose first-degree felony murder conviction was reversed by the Maryland Court of Special Appeals in April was in Washington County Circuit Court for a bond review hearing Monday morning.

Washington County Circuit Judge John H. McDowell ordered a $300,000 secured bond for Tyshawn Jones, who was being held in the Division of Correction's western region Monday night, according to a DOC spokeswoman.

Jones, 26, was convicted of murder in the March 14, 2004, shooting death of Jonathan M. Dennis of Waynesboro, Pa., who was struck by a single bullet after an armed robbery outside an apartment at Washington Gardens Apartments in Hagerstown.

The Maryland Court of Special Appeals not only reversed Jones' first-degree felony conviction, but remanded his case back to Washington County Circuit Court for a new trial on the other charges based on a technicality involving a part of the trial known as hearkening.

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Hearkening is the process where a jury is commanded to listen to the clerk while the clerk reads back the jury's verdict, Assistant State's Attorney Robert Veil has said.

In June, Jones filed a petition requesting that he be transported for a bond hearing in Washington County Circuit Court, alleging that he was being held illegally at Western Correctional Institution in Cumberland, Md.

Because the robbery was an act separate from the shooting, that robbery does not support a conviction for first-degree felony murder, according to the Maryland Court of Special Appeals decision.

Felony murder is a murder committed during the commission of a felony, such as robbery, burglary or kidnapping.

Jones was found guilty of several other crimes, including second-degree murder, reckless endangerment, first-degree assault, using a handgun during the commission of a violent crime, armed robbery and other crimes.

He must be retried on those charges, the Maryland Court of Special Appeals ordered.

Jones' second, two-day trial is set to begin Oct. 31, 2007, court records show.

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