DALLAS (AP) — A Dallas man was convicted and sentenced to 99 years in prison Friday for his part in the abduction and killing of a 13-year-old suburban Dallas girl.
Dallas County jurors deliberated for about an hour before sentencing Desmond Jones for his involvement in the death of Shavon Randle. The sentence was deliberated after the jury witnessed an outburst by Jones, whom bailiffs carried from the courtroom.
Earlier Friday, jurors found Jones, 24, guilty of organized criminal activity, which carries a prison term of up to life behind bars.
Randle had been missing from her Lancaster, Texas, home for several days when she was identified as one of two people found dead inside an abandoned drug house in the nearby Oak Cliff area of Dallas. Also found dead was Michael Titus, 19.
Defense attorneys argued that Jones had to participate for be killed, but prosecutors responded that Jones could have chosen not to participate and could have called police.
Prosecutors said Randle’s abduction was retaliation for the theft of $250,000 worth of marijuana from a drug group by Kendall Perkins, a man who was dating Randle’s cousin. The cousin was the original target of the abductors but was not home when they arrived at the home of Randle’s aunt. They took the pajama-clad Randle instead.
The cousin testified that she later received calls from an unknown man who said the girl was being held against her will and threatened to harm her.
Prosecutors also said Jones told investigators that Titus was among the kidnappers and shot Randle four times after she was able to see his face. The drug gang then shot and killed Titus, blaming him for killing Randle and for allowing the marijuana theft to happen.
During Friday’s penalty phase but with the jury not present, Jones began arguing with someone in the courtroom gallery. The judge ordered Jones to sit down and be quiet, and removed his verbal sparring partner from the courtroom.
Then, as Jones’ younger sister was testifying as a defense character witness, Jones stood up and shouted, “It don’t even matter no more, bro.” Bailiffs grabbed and carried him from the courtroom. He watched the rest of the testimony from a holding cell via closed-circuit video.
Darius Fields, whom authorities said led the drug gang, has already been sentenced to 18 years in federal prison for weapons violations. Fields, Laquon Wilkerson and Devontae Owens still await trial on state organized criminal activity charges arising from the abduction and killing.
Perkins is scheduled for trial April 20 on an aggravated robbery charge for the marijuana theft.