ANN ARBOR (WWJ/AP) – Prosecutors have withdrawn a man’s guilty plea in the fatal shooting of a University of Michigan medical student.
Washtenaw County prosecutors reinstated all charges against 21-year-old Shaquille Jones of North Charleston, South Carolina. Prosecutors say he will face trial in the 2013 death of Paul DeWolf after he violated the terms of the deal by refusing to cooperate with them, the Ann Arbor News reported. A judge denied Jones’ request to withdraw his plea one week earlier.
Jones would have spent more than 18 years in prison after pleaded guilty in February to second-degree murder, first-degree home invasion and conspiracy to commit home invasion. He could now face mandatory life in prison if convicted of murder.
The judge said Jones has already testified against 21-year-old co-defendant Dajeon Franklin, so those statements could be used against him during his trial.
Jones testified that Franklin, of Pittsfield Township, fired the gun that killed DeWolf last July at an off-campus fraternity house for medical students.
Jones said he and 20-year-old co-defendant Joei Jordan, of Sumter, S.C., were living with Jordan’s grandmother in Ypsilanti, not far from the U-M campus. Franklin is Jordan’s cousin.
According to Jones, the trio traveled to Ann Arbor to break into houses, including the one that contained DeWolf’s apartment, to steal mostly small, valuable items. He said they went into the Phi Ro Sigma house and Jordan took a PlayStation 3, but then they heard someone stirring in the house so they fled out the basement door they entered through.
Jones said the group walked a few blocks away and rehashed a plan to go back to the frat house, located in the 200 block of North Ingalls Street, because Jordan “thought something was in there worth taking.” Before doing that though, Jordan stashed his backpack with the stolen items nearby, Jones said.
When they went back to the Phi Ro Sigma house, Jones said that’s when they encountered DeWolf in a basement bedroom. Jones said the room was very dark and they didn’t know DeWolf was home, until he asked, “Who’s there?” and stood up near his bed.
Jones said he saw DeWolf grabbing for either Franklin or the gun he was holding and after a brief struggle, the gun went off. The trio then fled the scene. DeWolf’s body was found the next morning, in a pool of blood with a single gunshot wound to the neck.
Later on the day DeWolf’s body was found, Jones said he and Jordan returned to the scene of the crime because Jordan wanted to get his backpack with the stolen items. After driving past multiple police cruisers and walking by yellow crime scene tape, Jordan apparently grabbed the stashed bag and left undetected.
Jones said a few days went by before he learned that DeWolf was killed in the shooting.
Police eventually recovered the stolen items and traced them back to Jones and Jordan, who sold them before returning to South Carolina. The trio was taken into custody months later in November.
Jones is due back in court in January.
Jordan was originally scheduled to face trial on Oct. 6, but the judge granted a request to postpone the trial until January to align with Jones’ trial.
Franklin’s trial is set for Oct. 6.
All three men are held in jail without bond.
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