Defendant offered plea deal in Halloween 2014 slaying
Supporters for a slain Philadelphia man wept openly in a courtroom Monday when prosecutors offered alleged killer Donte Jones a plea deal that calls for him to serve 33 years in state prison for aggravated manslaughter.
Jones, 24, of Trenton, is charged with fatally shooting 36-year-old Levonza Thompson with a 9mm handgun in the courtyard of the Oakland Park Apartments on the 200 block of Coolidge Avenue on Halloween night 2014.
Police have said Thompson was shot multiple times after he and Jones struggled. He was rushed to a hospital where he died a short time later.
Jones was found at a home on the first block of Laurel Place, hiding under a pile of clothes in a third-floor attic, prosecutors said.
Jones was out on bail on a weapons charge at the time of the murder, prosecutors have said, and has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The plea deal calls for Jones to plead guilty to aggravated manslaughter as well as a weapons charge. He would be required to serve 28 years in prison for Thompson’s death and another five years on top of that for the weapons charge, Assistant Prosecutor Michael Grillo said.
Two of Thompson’s supporters, presumably family members, did not take kindly to the offer.
A woman had tears streaming down her face as she said Jones should get “an eye for an eye. He deserves death.”
She and another man met with prosecutors after the status hearing to express disapproval for the plea offer.
Jones is being held in lieu of $1 million cash-only and is expected back in court in May.