Christopher Darnell Jones Jr., the man accused of the fatal shooting of three University of Virginia football players in the previous year, is now facing upgraded murder charges following a decision by a special grand jury in Charlottesville. These new indictments of aggravated murder carry a mandatory life sentence, marking the most serious murder charges available in Virginia, especially after the state abolished the death penalty in 2021.
The tragic incident unfolded in November 2022 when Jones, a former UVA student and football team member at the time, allegedly opened fire on a charter bus transporting students back from a field trip. The victims included football players Lavel Davis Jr., D’Sean Perry, and Devin Chandler, who lost their lives, while another team member, Mike Hollins, and another student sustained injuries.
Initially charged with second-degree murder upon his arrest, Jones now faces a significantly more severe legal challenge with these upgraded charges.
Albemarle County Commonwealth’s Attorney James Hingeley announced the issuance of the new indictments on Wednesday, signaling a notable development in the case.
You can also read: Danny Masterson Sentenced to 30 Years to Life for Rape
Liz Murtagh, the public defender appointed to represent Jones in Charlottesville and Albemarle County, expressed regret regarding the prosecutor’s decision to pursue these upgraded charges but refrained from providing further commentary on the matter.