Christopher Darnell Jones Jr. appeared in-person at Albemarle General District Court Thursday morning for a status hearing. The next hearing is scheduled for March 30 at 9 a.m.
This was the first time Jones appeared in-person before the court. Jones’ first court appearance occurred Nov. 16 via video chat from Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail, when Judge Andrew Sneathern denied bond for Jones.
Jones is represented by public defender and Law Prof. Liz Murtagh, who he spoke to briefly before Thursday’s hearing began. Jones was escorted by police into the courtroom prior to the trial — police cars blocked the road as he was led inside, and sheriffs remained inside and in front of Jones as he sat in the courtroom. Jones wore a prison uniform and chains around his wrists and ankles.
Commonwealth’s Attorney James Hingeley noted that the prosecutors anticipate a large number of witnesses, so the hearing was scheduled for an open day on the court’s schedule.
A student at the Univeristy and former member of the Virginia football team, Jones is facing three counts of second-degree murder and two counts of possesion of a handgun in commission of a felony as the suspect in the Nov. 13 shooting on Culbreth Rd. Second-year student Devin Chandler, third-year student Lavel Davis Jr. and fourth-year student D’Sean Perry were fatally shot, while third-year student Mike Hollins and second-year student Marlee Morgan were injured and have been discharged from U.Va. Health.
University President Jim Ryan and Rector Whittington Clement have since requested that Attorney General Jason Miyares appoint a special counsel to conduct an independent and external review surrounding the University’s response to the shooting. A memorial service was held to celebrate the lives of Davis, Perry and Chandler Nov. 19. All three were members of the Virginia football team.
Jones remains in custody at Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail.