University of Virginia deadly shooting suspect appears in court for first time

Published: Nov. 16, 2022 at 9:09 PM EST
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WDBJ) - Christopher Darnell Jones, Jr. appeared in court Wednesday for the first time since his arrest for a shooting that killed three University of Virginia football players and wounded two other people. He appeared in court through a video link from the Albemarle County Regional Jail, where he is being held without bond.

During that court hearing, the Commonwealth’s Attorney shared details from a key witness to the deadly shooting.

James Hingeley, the Commonwealth’s Attorney, told the courtroom what the witness reported to police, which is that the suspected gunman shot Devin Chandler while he was asleep on the bus that came back from a class field trip in Washington D.C.

“It’s a very, very challenging and difficult case,” Hingeley told reporters outside the courthouse.

Chandler is one of three University of Virginia football players who was shot and killed Sunday night. Hingeley said the shooting was targeted and not random.

“I can assure you that the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office has been working very closely with all the police agencies that have been involved in this case,” Hingeley said.

Marlee Morgan and Michael Hollins are the two students who were injured in the shooting and remain in a hospital.

“All of us in this community care for the victims’ families and wish for the speedy recovery of those who are being treated at the hospital,” Hingeley said.

Jones, Jr. is now facing several charges, three counts of Second-Degree Murder, three counts of using a firearm in the commission of a felony, two counts of Malicious Wounding and two counts of use of a firearm.

“It is our important concern that this defendant have a fair trial,” Hingeley said.

The judge appointed Jones, Jr. a public defendant until he can get a private attorney.

“I know about challenging cases and I know about cases that carry the highest stakes in our judicial system,” Hingeley said. “This is one of those cases.”

Jones, Jr. is due back in court December 8 in Albemarle County.

A memorial service for the victims will be held November 19 at 3:30 p.m.