Man sentenced for shooting of homeless man

Published 10:16 am Thursday, December 1, 2016

Another defendant in the case of the shooting of a homeless man in 2015 was sentenced in Davie Superior Court last week.

Cedric Jones, 22, of Mountainview Drive, Mocksville, was represented by attorney Michael Parker, who became emotional while speaking to Judge Jerry Cash Martin about Jones.

“I have been doing this for 30 years and I’ve never had a case more personal to me than this. I’ve known Cedric just about all his life, and Nate (Jones, another defendant) since probably the third grade or so. I know the family both personally and professionally,” he said, mentioning Cedric’s grandfather, Cicero Jones Sr., who was seated behind Cedric. He also mentioned Thomasina Jones, another family member, who was murdered in 2007.

“I can’t hear the gospel song ‘I’ll Fly Away’ without thinking of this family,” Parker said.

He said he was in “disbelief and dismay” when he started getting calls shortly after Jones, Nate Jones, and Brittany Wilson were named as suspects in the July 23 shooting of Justin Mobley, with whom all three had been partying. Nate Jones shot Mobley in the chest and thigh and the trio left him for dead in the pet cemetery off Wyo Road. Mobley was able to call 911 and subsequently recovered from his injuries. He was not in court when Nate Jones was sentenced Oct. 31 nor when Cedric Jones was sentenced four days later.

Cedric Jones was indicted by a grand jury in September 2015 on attempted first degree murder, conspiracy to commit first degree murder, and accessory after the fact to attempted first degree murder. Those charges were dismissed as part of a plea arrangement that allowed Jones to plead guilty to accessory after the fact to assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury.

Assistant DA Rob Taylor told Judge Martin at some point during their partying, Wilson decided it was time for Mobley to leave. Taylor said Wilson told “a number of untruths” about taking Mobley to the bus station in Winston-Salem, but initially tried to cover for the Joneses. When questioned later, she implicated them both.

Taylor said Cedric placed himself at the scene but the evidence pointed to Nate being the shooter, although Cedric “clearly knew something had occurred” when Mobley was shot.

Parker said the statements Cedric gave police were “scared statements, as any 21-year-old would have done.”

He asked for a split sentence for Jones, for credit for the time he had served in jail, 450 days, and the rest to be a probationary sentence. “If the purpose of our justice system is not just revenge, punishment and retribution, but also rehabilitation, then he’s not going to get that locked up.”

Parker also said Jones’ attitude had gone from not feeling responsible because he didn’t pull the trigger when Parker first saw him in 2015 to now being resolved to stand before the court and accept his punishment.

“This young man is 22 years old, which, by my calculations, means he has spent 264 months on the face of the earth,” Parker said. “The last 16 months of that has been behind bars, which is six percent of his life. That is enough time for him to have been incarcerated.”

Jones was given the opportunity to speak before sentencing but declined.

Martin said, “This is a crime of violence. The victim is a human being and deserves to be treated like one. He was shot and left for dead, and he fortunately survived. This is not a case for probation; this is a case for serious punishment.”

After saying he would give Jones more time if he could, he sentenced him to 25 to 42 months with credit for the 450 days he was in jail. He ordered him to provide a DNA sample, obtain a substance abuse assessment and any recommended treatment and have no contact with Mobley or Nate Jones. He must pay a $4,314.50 attorney fee.

Jones left the courtroom without looking back at family members and friends.