Man charged in fatal UVA shooting makes 2nd court appearance
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The man accused of shooting five University of Virginia students, killing three, made his second appearance in court early Thursday, December 8.
A status hearing for 23-year-old Christopher Darnell Jones Jr. was taken up inside Albemarle County General District Court. Jones had asked the court back in November to give him time to get his own attorney, which the judge granted. However, during Thursday’s hearing, it was revealed that Jones was still being represented by Public Defender Liz Murtaugh.
“Just because you might want a public defender doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to be assigned one. For him to have been assigned to public defender means that he submitted a financial affidavit that prove that he was in a certain income level to qualify for assistance from the court,” A.C. Rieman, NBC29′s legal analyst, said.
Riseman says there could be a few reasons Jones hasn’t hired his own lawyer. One factor, the steep financial cost.
“There’s going to be a lot of hours spent on that case. Attorneys’ fees range from $200 an hour to $600 an hour, $700 An hour. And so they’re quite possibly could be the fact that there’s a financial aspect of this that simply he’s unable to retain private representation, because the fees might be pretty astronomical,” Rieman said.
The prosecution, led by James Hingeley, also asked the judge today for ample time to organize witnesses.
Jones is charged with three felony counts of second-degree murder, two felony counts of malicious wounding, and five felony counts of the use of a firearm in the commission of a felony.
Investigators say Jones, a now former-UVA student and football player, fired a gun inside a chartered bus along Culbreth Road late Sunday, November 13. He allegedly fired more shots outside of the bus before fleeing the area.
Lavel Davis Jr., D’Sean Perry and Devin Chandler were killed, while Mike Hollins and an unidentified fifth person were wounded.
Jones was apprehended the following day by Henrico Police.
A preliminary hearing for Jones is now set for March 30, 2023. He continues to be held at the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail.
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