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Prosecutor: Witness told police UVA shooting suspect specifically targeted victims

UVA Shooting Daylight AP
Steve Helber
A Virginia State Police crime scene investigation truck is on the scene of an overnight shooting at the University of Virginia, Monday, Nov. 14, 2022, in Charlottesville. Va.

A subdued Christopher Jones spoke briefly through a video link to the regional jail, telling the judge he did not have a lawyer but intended to hire one.

Prosecutor Jim Hingeley said Jones had been charged with second-degree murder and malicious wounding based, in part, on the account of a witness who was on the bus when the shooting occurred.

That witness told police that Jones did not fire randomly, but instead aimed at certain people, including Devin Chandler who was shot as he slept. Outside the Albemarle County courthouse, Hingeley refused to repeat those words but did tell reporters that Jones had a criminal record.

“He was arrested in Chesterfield County. The arrest was for a concealed weapons violation. At the time of his arrest there were outstanding warrants from Mr. Jones from Petersburg. These warrants were for hit and run property damage and reckless driving,” according to Hingeley.

In both cases, two different judges sentenced Jones to a year in jail but suspended that sentence – giving him a second chance. If convicted this time, Jones could face life in prison. “The sentence doesn’t go away," Hingeley noted. "And if you’re not of good behavior, if you commit a crime in the future then the judge can call you back and say, ‘I gave you a chance, but you failed.”

Now, Jones could face life in prison for second degree murder and malicious wounding.

No bond has been set, and he will be back in Albemarle County court December 8th.

This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.

Sandy Hausman is Radio IQ's Charlottesville Bureau Chief