SNOW HILL – A Salisbury man facing attempted murder charges for a shooting incident at a Berlin apartment complex last December was found guilty last week in Worcester County Circuit Court of first-degree assault and other charges and was sentenced this week to 25 years in jail.
David Dewayne Jones, Jr., 28, of Salisbury, was facing attempted murder charges for shooting a Berlin man from a vehicle during an attempted robbery at the Bayside Terrace Apartments on the east side of town. After the attempted murder charges were taken off the table, a Worcester County jury deliberated for just over an hour last Thursday and returned guilty verdicts on several charges including first- and second-degree assault, reckless endangerment and use of a handgun in the commission of a felony.
On Dec. 28, Berlin responded to a shooting in the parking lot of the Bay Terrace Apartments. The investigation revealed Jones fired a revolver-type handgun from a vehicle in which he was a passenger and struck Zander Baker, Jr. in the abdomen. The shooting occurred during an attempted robbery and Baker was not the target, according to police reports on the incident. Baker later recovered after having surgery at PRMC in Salisbury.
The Bay Terrace Apartments are in a residential area with typically a lot of foot traffic, according to police reports, and there were at least two other people in the parking lot at the time of the incident. A witness who knew Jones personally positively identified him as the shooter and he was taken into custody and charged with attempted second-degree murder and other charges.
Last week, Jones pleaded not guilty to all of the charges and was successful in getting the attempted murder charge against him dropped. The trial resumed in front of a jury on the myriad of other charges against Jones, and after all of the evidence was presented and testimony taken, the jury retired at 2:40 p.m. and returned at 3:55 p.m. with their verdicts. The jury found Jones guilty of first- and second-degree assault, reckless endangerment, transporting a gun in a vehicle and the use of a handgun in the commission of a felony.
On Tuesday, Judge Theodore Eschenberg sentenced Jones to 20 years in jail for the first-degree assault charge and an additional five years for the use of a handgun during a felony charge, which will be served consecutive to the sentence in the assault conviction, netting Jones 25 years in jail.