Jury Selection Begins For Homicide Defendant

The case against homicide defendant Tarence Jones began jury selection on Aug. 1 before Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Phillip S. Jackson

Jones, 31, is charged with first-degree murder and using a firearm during a violent crime in connection to the murder of 28-year-old Desmond Williams on June 13, 2021. 

According to court documents, Williams was found lying in the foyer of Jones’ home on the 400 block of E. 23rd Street. Williams was seen “suffering from severe wounds with his bowels visibly displayed outside the torso.” He was pronounced dead at the scene. Following an autopsy, the cause of death was determined to be homicide by shooting, specifically with a birdshot shotgun.

When interviewed by detectives, Jones claimed he left his apartment with a large black garbage bag. Detectives described the bag, as seen on video, as “consistent with the size and shape of a shotgun” and that Jones “was carrying it in the manner that an individual would hold a shotgun.” 

Jones was arrested on June 24, 2021. He previously appeared before Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Melissa Phinn, where he rejected a plea of life.

Jones was released to electric home monitoring in April of this year following an explosive bail hearing in which defense attorney Todd Oppenheim said the state’s video evidence was “very narrow.” 

In a preliminary hearing, the prosecutor offered Jones an updated plea of life suspending all but 50 years for first-degree murder. However, Oppenheim rejected the offer on Jones’ behalf. 

The trial against Jones is slated to last four days.