Contact: Ken Daley, Public Information
District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro’s office on Thursday (July 23) secured a second-degree murder indictment against a man accused of a fatal shooting in Central City last December.
Darrin Jones was charged with the murder of 19-year-old Justin Witherspoon and one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm in the indictment handed up by an Orleans Parish grand jury. Jones, 29, faces a mandatory lifetime prison term if found guilty of the murder charge.
Witherspoon was found dead from multiple gunshot wounds on the sidewalk in the 2900 block of Toledano Street at about 12:20 a.m. on Dec. 13, 2019. New Orleans police responding to reports of gunfire also found Jones laying in the street’s neutral ground, bleeding from gunshots to his buttocks and groin.
Detectives investigating the incident concluded that the two victims belonged to separate rival groups who confronted each other with weapons that included long rifles and handguns. Jones, who is believed to be affiliated with a criminal street gang, appeared to have been shot by members of his own group, and refused to cooperate with investigators.
Police believe several other armed individuals from both groups fled the scene, leaving the two wounded men behind.
Jones’ criminal record includes gun and drug charges, as well as felony conspiracy to commit second-degree murder, for which he pleaded guilty and was sentenced to serve nine years in September 2013.
Assistant District Attorney Abigail MacDonald presented the case to the grand jury.
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