Witnesses testify in August shooting death

Wednesday, September 18, 2002

Delta Fire Protection District/John Sachen

A house fire broke out at a residence at 1415 Dunklin early Tuesday morning. Cape Girardeau firefighters responded from stations No. 3 and 4. No injuries were reported. Officials have not released any information about the suspected cause of the blaze, other than to say the incident is still under investigation.By Mike Wells ~ Southeast Missourian

JACKSON, Mo. -- A suspect in the shooting death of Billy Jones told police he fired his gun because he thought his victim intended to kill him, a police officer said in court.

Detective David Sanders of the Cape Girardeau Police Department was the last to testify at a preliminary hearing held Tuesday afternoon for Jibril Walton, 25, in Jackson. Walton is charged with second-degree murder and armed criminal action for allegedly shooting Jones Aug. 18 near the National Guard Armory at Independence and East Rodney.

Sanders read aloud a statement Walton wrote for investigators, in which he gave his account of the shooting and the events leading up to it.

After hearing testimony, associate Circuit Judge Gary Kamp found probable cause and bound the case over to the circuit court for an arraignment scheduled for 9 a.m. Sept. 30.

As the courtroom filled with family and friends of the victim, Walton eyed the door as they passed by through a security check, occasionally smiling and whispering to a supporter.

Among the witnesses testifying was Dartanyus Harris, the passenger in Jones' car. Before the hearing began, Walton and Harris stared at one another for nearly a minute before Walton turned away and Harris lowered his head.

Car being followed

Harris said the incident began when Jones noticed a gold car following their car for several blocks that day. Jones was driving and decided to stop and ask the other driver, Walton, why he was following them. The two cars were side by side, facing the same direction. The men knew Walton from an argument the previous night at Morgan Oak and Sprigg, Harris said.

Though he did not see Walton with a gun, Harris said the suspect fired seven or eight times into driver's side of their car before driving off. After Harris and Jones dived out of the car's passenger-side door, Harris helped Jones back into the car and drove him to Southeast Missouri Hospital, where he died the next morning. Harris was not hurt in the shooting.

Cape Girardeau patrolman Kevin Naeger described his brief interview with the dying Jones.

"He was on the operating table being worked on," Naeger said. "I asked him if he knew who shot him, and he said, 'Jibril.'"

Naeger said he also asked Jones why he thought the suspect shot him, but Jones said he didn't know. The officer was asked to leave as doctors tried to save the man's life.

Cape Girardeau County Coroner Michael Hurst said one of the three bullets entered the victim's chest and exited through his back. It hit a rib and severed the aorta, the artery leading out of the heart, causing him to bleed to death internally, he said. The other two bullets remained in Jones' body.


335-6611, extension 160

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