Photo by Elaine Rackley
Assistant District Attorney Trea Pipkin (standing) served as prosecutor Wednesday in the trial of Randal Montrell Jones (center, with his attorney). Jones was found guilty and was sentenced to 11 years in prison.
By Elaine Rackley
A Henry County Superior Court jury found a DeKalb County man guilty in a theft case, Wednesday, that involved a high-speed chase, and a police shooting.
Randal Montrell Jones, 25, of Stone Mountain, was on trial for an incident on Oct. 12, in which he was accused of stealing beer from a parked van, fleeing in his car, and leading police on a chase at speeds of up to 100 mph.
The incident concluded with Jones getting shot by police, according to testimony during his trial.
After Jones' conviction by a jury of eight women and five men, Henry County Superior Court Judge Brian Amero sentenced Jones to 11 years in prison.
"You will be required to serve every day of this sentence," said Amero.
After the judge and jurors left the courtroom, Jones expressed relief.
"I thank God, because it could been 30 years," Jones told the Henry Daily Herald.
He was found guilty of entering an automobile with intent to commit a felony, fleeing or attempting to elude an officer, reckless conduct, and obstruction of an officer.
Jones, who is a 2002 graduate of Decatur High, was indicted last December.
Josh Neesaw, of the Clayton County Fire Department, testified that he was in a Kroger store parking lot in McDonough, when he watched as Jones stole three cases of Heineken beer, a briefcase and a clipboard from a Miller Beer Chevrolet Astro minivan, parked in the grocery store's parking lot.
He said he followed Jones in the 1994 Cadillac DeVille Jones was driving, and alerted police.
The police chase began around 9:30 a.m., in the Kroger lot, at 85 Price Quarters Road in McDonough, according to testimony. Henry County Police Officer Jeffery Johnson followed Jones into the Parkside at Eagle's Landing subdivision.
There, Jones led the officer through two yards in the Kensington Trace neighborhood, and drove his car into the street's cul-de-sac, through two privacy fences, and hit a tree.
Police testified that Jones continued to try to elude them, and he was shot several times, as a result. A Henry County Police crime scene technician, Kathryn Brown, testified that her unit located five shells at the crime scene.
Officer Johnson testified that he fired the shots striking Jones, but said he shot him only three times. The shooting resulted in an inquiry by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.