The tragic downfall of once promising football prospect TyKerious “Grump” Jones took a disturbing turn on Wednesday evening, when the former Colquitt County running back was identified as the suspected “ringleader” of a group of teens involved in the murder of a man during an attempted armed robbery gone wrong.
As reported by the Moultrie Observer, Jones was specifically identified as a leader by the prosecution investigating the group of seven teenagers involved in the shooting of John Hester Sr. during an attempted robbery of his son’s residence. Hester Sr. was shot in the leg, severing an artery, and bled profusely while walking the 30-40 feet back to his own house, where his wife called paramedics. While Hester Sr. was rushed to a nearby hospital he never recovered, eventually dying the following morning. The shooter has not been identified.
At the hearing, an investigator said that 22 weapons taken in an unrelated burglary on the same day remain at large; either have been recovered. Among the weapons that are unaccounted for is one that was believed to have killed Hester, according to testimony.
“(Jones is) alleged to be the ringleader and the one who came up with the idea of going to Mr. Hester Jr.’s (residence),” Assistant District Attorney April Hancock said in arguing against allowing Jones’ release on bond, according to the Observer.
The judge delayed making a decision on bond for Jones and two others Wednesday and did not indicate when he would issue his ruling. For now, they remain in custody.
Jones’ defense had argued that the teenager should be attending school while he prepares for his trial.
“These kids need to be out and going to school,” Jones’ attorney, Richard Wilkes, said during the hearing. “They need to be out preparing for their defense, which they have the right to do. … The information we have is he (Jones) can go back to school, he just has to have another hearing.”
Apparently, Jones’ own mother was one of the factors responsible for the teen taking on greater responsibility for the attack. According to the Observer, after learning that Jones may have been involved, Priscilla McKinnon took him in to authorities to be questioned. It was during that session that Colquitt County officials apparently determined that Jones was responsible for planning the robbery attempt that led to Hester Sr.’s eventual death.
The entire sordid incident has made Jones’ once promising football career seem long, long ago. The teen was expected to start for Colquitt County in the forthcoming 2015 season as the Packers aim to repeat as state champions and challenge for a national title.
Now, Jones could be fortunate just to regain any degree of freedom in the years ahead.