YOUNGSTOWN - The second man charged with murder in a shooting at an off-campus fraternity entered pleas of guilty Tuesday, much to the chagrin of the victim's mother.
Mark Jones pleaded guilty before Mahoning County Common Pleas Court Judge John Durkin to a reduced charge of involuntary manslaughter and 10 counts of felonious assault for the shooting Feb. 6, 2011, at the Indiana Avenue fraternity house that killed Jamail Johnson, 25, and wounded 11 others.
Prosecutors said in court that Mark Jones gave the gun used in the shooting to his brother, Columbus Jones, who then fired several rounds into the house after a dispute at a party among a group of their friends.
Columbus Jones was convicted of murder and other counts in August and sentenced to 92 years in prison.
Johnson's mother and stepfather, Shirlene and Sidney Hill, also were in court but were not pleased with the verdict. They also said they were upset because they were not informed until 15 minutes before court was to start that Jones had a hearing and was expected to plea.
Durkin said there have been negotiations for months between prosecutors and defense attorneys for a plea, but the Hills said they were never informed of that.
''You have a case that has to do with my son and I don't know anything until today,'' Shirlene Hill said.
Shirlene Hill said this is the second time they were in the dark about a plea. Another co-defendant in the case, Braylon Rogers, also entered guilty pleas last year but she was never informed of those either, she said. She said she found about them from television.
A call the prosecutor's office was not returned.
She also said she was not pleased with the minimal 10-year sentence Mark Jones will serve.
''Ten years? Give me a break,'' she said.
The Hills had a lengthy conversation with Assistant Prosecutor Nick Brevetta after the hearing, telling him of their displeasure.
Under the terms of the plea agreement, Mark Jones will serve a minimum 10 years for the involuntary manslaughter charge and five years for each of the felonious assault charges. All sentences will run concurrent to the involuntary manslaughter charge and Mark Jones will be able to file a motion for judicial release within five years and prosecutors will not oppose it.
Mark Jones also had to give a statement as to what happened the morning of the shooting and he also can not get in trouble in prison or he will not be eligible for judicial release. He will be sentenced after a co-defendeant in the case, Jamelle Jackson, is tried for obstruction of justice and carrying a concealed weapon Nov. 26. That trial will be held in Akron because of adverse pretrial publicity.
Tom Zena, Mark Jones' lawyer, said his client has been adamant he did not give the gun to his brother, but after Columbus Jones' lengthy sentence, he thought the offer a good one for his client.
Durkin said he would not have approved the agreement if Mark Jones was found to be the one who fired the shots.
''There has never been an allegation that Mark Jones was involved in the shooting of anyone,'' Durkin said.