Suspect in Kennett armed robbery and shootings found guilty

Saturday, March 18, 2017
Julius Jones
Photo by Vinelink

One of the suspects charged following a shooting, robbery and police chase beginning in Kennett has been found guilty.

Julius L. Jones, 36, was found guilty of interference with commerce by robbery and possession of a firearm with furtherance of a crime of violence, both felonies, following a two-day jury trial before U.S. District Judge Ronnie L. White.

Jones faces a maximum sentence of life in prison and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing is set for May 15.

The charges stem from events on July 1, 2015 at Curt’s Grocery Store in Kennett. The Kennett Police Department cites trial testimony, which says two men entered the store with handguns and began firing. The manager of the store suffered four non-fatal gunshot wounds.

One of the men took money from the manager’s pockets after he was wounded, while the other man—identified as Jones—threw the cashier off her stool and demanded money.

Jones collected two bank bags containing money before the men left the store, firing more shots both at the cashier and at a bystander entering the store as the men left. Shots at the cashier and the customer narrowly missed.

As an officer responded to the scene, he met a silver Toyota matching the description given to dispatchers, as the vehicle reportedly carrying the suspects fled the scene. The officer attempted to stop the vehicle, but it instead drove away leading to a high-speed chase. The car reportedly reached speeds over 120 miles per hour, with suspects firing multiple shots at the officer and other officers who later got involved in the chase.

The chase lead to Blytheville, where the suspects crashed into a ditch before three people fled the vehicle. Officers found the alleged driver, Antonio Brown, hiding under bushes behind a house near the scene.

A witness reported a person running from near the scene and entering a yellow Cadillac Escalade. The witness gave officers the license plate number on the SUV, which officers found was registered to Jones. Police later stopped the vehicle and found Jones driving. During a search, officers found bank bags with $1,763 in the console.

Officer later found the second bank bag with $350 inside along with a stolen pistol and shotgun. Investigators also found ski masks with Jones’ DNA, which was used during the robbery and shooting.

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