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No bond for UVa murder suspect in first court appearance since shooting

Christopher Darnell Jones, Jr., charged in the murders of the three athletes, was denied bond in his first court appearance Wednesday morning. Jones appeared via video chat Albemarle County Regional Jail, where he is being held in connection with the murders of UVa students and football players Lavel Davis, Jr., Devin Chandler and D’Sean Perry on a bus returning from a field trip on Sunday night. Chandler was said to be sleeping at the time, Albemarle County Commonwealth Attorney James Hingeley said in the hearing.

Judge Andrew Sneathern of the General District Court denied bond for Jones, who is also suspected of inflicting injuries on university students Marlee Morgan and Michael Hollins. According to the public information officer at UVa Health, one of the survivors was discharged from the Medical Center on Tuesday while the other remained in serious condition.

Later Wednesday, Hollins’s mother, Brenda, released a statement thanking people for their prayers and asking for privacy for Hollins as he heals. She also asked for people to continue praying for the deceased victims’ families.

Jones is facing three charges of second-degree murder, three charges of using a firearm while committing a felony, and two malicious wounding charges.

Hingeley recounted the facts presented by the University of Virginia, Charlottesville and Albemarle County Police Departments.

Around 10:30 p.m. on Sunday, university police received a call that shots were fired on a bus full of students leaving the Culbreth Garage on UVa grounds.

Hingeley revealed that UPD Sergeant Dan Stuart spoke with a witness who confirmed that the suspect traveled to Washington D.C. with the other students on the bus for a class field trip.

“Stuart said the individual who shot his classmates was someone the witness knew as Chris,” Hingeley said.

The witness said that they saw Jones point a gun at Chandler and shoot him while he slept.

According to Stuart, the witness identified Jones as “Chris” when she saw his Virginia Cavaliers football headshot.

Hingeley revealed more details about Jones’ criminal history during the first appearance. Jones was arrested on February 22, 2021 in Chesterfield for a concealed weapons violation, for which he was convicted on June 10 the same year. Jones received a 10-month suspended sentence for the violation. In September 2021 Jones was charged for a hit and run with damage and reckless driving in Petersburg . After being convicted of both, Jones received a 12-month suspended sentence.

“He was arrested on all three charges at the same time,” Hingeley said. “Although the charges occurred at different times, none of those charges occurred at a time when he was serving on a condition of suspended sentence.

Judges grant suspended sentences when they decide to sentence a formerly active jail sentence. This is a way for judges to “give the individual a chance,” Hingeley says.

Jones will appear in court again on Dec. 8 for his status hearing where he will confirm his legal representation and the court will decide next steps on the road to trial.


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