Woman whose boyfriend was killed by Jacksonville police found guilty again of second-degree murder

December 7, 2012

A Jacksonville woman was found guilty of second-degree murder for a second time, convicted for her role in planning the gas station robbery her boyfriend was committing when he was shot by two Jacksonville police officers in 2010. Shaketa Jones was found guilty last week in the death of Jessie Cooper, according to a report in the Florida Times-Union. She had been found guilty of the same Jacksonville criminal charge last year, but an appellate court reversed the conviction, ruling the judge put a person on the jury over the valid objection of the Jacksonville Criminal Defense Attorney representing Jones, the newspaper reported.

Jones faces up to life in prison after her conviction. The first time, she was sentenced to 35 years. With the new conviction, that sentence has no bearing on this case and her fate is in the hands of a different judge this time around. Jones was charged under a provision in Florida law that allows prosecutors to charge a person with murder if they are committing a felony at the time another person is killed. The state pegged Jones as the mastermind behind a series of robberies in a Jacksonville neighborhood that had escalated to the point police were watching Jones in the days leading up to this attempted robbery, the newspaper reported. Jones, who was also convicted of armed robbery, was accused of planning the robbery and acting as a lookout from a nearby parking lot, talking with Cooper on the phone while he approached the gas station. Cooper pointed a gun at the store manager and grabbed thousands of dollars Jones knew the manager would be taking to a local bank at that time, the newspaper reported. Police were on the scene immediately and blocked Cooper from leaving. Police said Cooper refused to get out of his car and pointed a gun before two officers fired at Cooper, killing him, the newspaper reported.

Jones' Duval County criminal attorney argued she was not responsible for the murder because police did not have to shoot Cooper, but the jury sided with the state. Her case is another example that a person does not have to be the one who pulls the trigger to be convicted of murder.

A group of three teens were convicted of felony murder in a similar case in 2009. In that case, their unarmed getaway driver from a robbery of a video game store led police on a high-speed chase and was shot by an officer after refusing to put his hands up in a dark Jacksonville backyard. The teens were miles away when their friend was shot, but cases like theirs and Jones' are becoming increasingly common in Jacksonville and throughout Florida.

If you or a loved one needs a criminal defense attorney in Jacksonville or the surrounding area, call The Mussallem Law Firm at (904) 365-5200 for a free consultation. Our Duval County Gun Attorney, Victoria "Tori" Mussallem, is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.