MAYS LANDING — An Atlantic City man’s attempted murder conviction in a 2013 shooting was reinstated after a county assistant prosecutor petitioned the state Supreme Court, officials said.
Assistant Prosecutor Melinda Harrigan was granted a reversal and the reinstatement on a second first-degree attempted murder charge for Quashawn K. Jones, as well as a 15-year sentence Wednesday, according to a news release from the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office. Oral arguments were heard in Trenton on Jan. 6.
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“This was a hard- fought victory for victims and witnesses who are often the targets of threats and intimidation,” county Prosecutor Damon G. Tyner said. “AP Harrigan did an incredible job persuading our state Supreme Court that credible attempts on a person’s life can occur many different ways. This conviction serves notice that the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office will always fight for the justice that victims and witnesses deserve.”
Jones was indicted on 10 counts, including two counts of attempted-murder, aggravated assault, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, witness tampering and certain persons not to have weapons, according to the release. He was convicted by a county jury in July 2015 of all charges except first-degree witness tampering, with the jury convicting him on third-degree witness tampering.
On appeal, the Appellate Division affirmed all of Jones’ convictions except for one of the first-degree attempted murder charges. It reversed that conviction and the 15-year sentence imposed, according to the release.
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“Today, the New Jersey Supreme Court delivered justice to the very brave victim in this case, and I was honored to be able to take this case to our highest Court on her behalf,” Harrigan said.
On Nov. 18, 2013, Jones shot a woman and while she was on the ground fired multiple times into her body, according to the release.
The woman suffered a collapsed lung, a fractured clavicle and a fractured humerus.
Jones was arrested shortly after and was remanded to the Atlantic County jail awaiting trial, according to the release.
While incarcerated, Jones contacted his girlfriend and cousin in numerous phone calls from jail, calls that were recorded, in which he can be heard directing his girlfriend and cousin to help him facilitate the murder of the victim so she could not testify against him at his trial.
The two first-degree attempted murder convictions delivered included one for the shooting of the victim, which she survived, and the second was for Jones’ subsequent attempt on the victim’s life from inside the jail, according to the release.
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On appeal, the Appellate Division reversed the second conviction for attempted murder, holding that the state did not have enough evidence to support the second conviction for attempted-murder related to the jail calls, according to the release.
Justice Timpone, writing for the court, was joined by the other justices in a unanimous decision,“…When defendant’s statements on the recorded conversations are considered in the context of this case, the State presented sufficient evidence for the jury to find a substantial step for attempted murder.”
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