Convicted Durham killer warns youth: 'The streets ain't for everybody'
Posted June 9, 2016 4:36 p.m. EDT
Updated June 9, 2016 5:39 p.m. EDT
Durham, N.C. — A man pleaded guilty to a variety of charges Thursday in connection with a 2013 shooting in a Durham park that left one man dead and another wounded.
Authorities said Kenneth Tyvon Jones Jr. shot and killed Quaysean Tymeek Malachi, 20, on Nov. 23, 2013, and shot a second man who suffered non-life-threatening injuries.
Jones pleaded guilty Thursday to two counts of voluntary manslaughter, two counts of discharging a firearm into an occupied vehicle, assault with a deadly weapon and possession of a firearm by a felon.
Malachi’s family and friends watched as the plea deal was accepted, and there were few dry eyes in the courtroom as family members and Jones spoke.
“He’s my grandson. I miss him dearly, but he lives in our hearts,” said Jeanette Malachi. "It was emotional but it's been emotional ever since Quaysean was taken away from us."
Jones admitted to fatally shooting Malachi at Lyon Park in a situation the district attorney’s office describes as a drug deal turned violent.
“This is not what my client wanted to happen that day,” said Jones’ attorney, Shannon Tucker. “He is a father of a very young son who was in a car accident and suffered brain damage. To know that he deprived other children of their father disturbs him greatly.”
In court, Malachi’s mother read a letter about the loss of her son that left many, including the judge and Jones, in tears.
“For her to get up and express herself the way she did, it just touched me,” Jones said.
Following the plea hearing, Jones apologized to Malachi’s mother and said he wants any young person following in his path to think twice.
“The streets ain’t for everybody. This type of stuff, obviously you get killed, or you can lose your life behind bars taking someone else’s life,” Jones said.
The judge sentenced Jones to eight to 10 years behind bars with credit for the three years he has already served- a sentence that Jones said surprised him.
“It was way lighter than I expected,” he said.
Malachi’s grandmother said she doesn’t question the decision.
“I walk by faith and not by sight. Whatever God’s will is, that’s what I accept,” she said.
The district attorney's office said Jones' sentence was a compromise reached after negotiations between the state and defense.