Railroad Park shooting victim's mom speaks about conviction - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Railroad Park shooting victim's mom speaks about conviction

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BIRMINGHAM- AL -  A jury found Justin Jones guilty of reckless murder in the death of 15 year old Jarmaine Walton. Investigators say Jones shot into a large crowd at Railroad Park in March of 2013.

The jury took about five hours to return a verdict. A crime scene investigator testified that the gun used to killed Walton didn't have any finger prints tying Jones to the crime. But in the end, it was an eye-witness testimony that turned a quick conviction.  

"It's been hard," Valarie McKinney, Jarmaine's Mom said. "When you lose a child, it's hard, but his spirit lives on."

In just three days, a jury was selected, the trial was held, and by Wednesday Justin Jones was convicted of murdering Jarmaine Walton  in Railroad Park last year.

"It felt like three hours I sat there for those five minutes," another family member said. "My heart was racing fast."

"We are thankful for the one witness that came forward out of all the people out there," Patricia Pickett, Jarmaine's Aunt said. "It took a lot of courage for him to do that. They can call him a snitch all they want but at the end of the day he did what was on his spirit which was to make sure that Jarmaine could rest in peace. If you see something you need to come forward because you don't want to be in our shoes."

After the verdict, Justin's family left in tears. They told us, they were too overcome by emotion to speak.  

"His family lost a son like how we lost Jarmaine," Pickett said.

Outside the courtroom, Jarmaine's family gathered to pray - particularly for the family of his convicted killer.

"We were praying," McKinney said. "We're praying for the family, his family. She also lost her, he's going to prison." 

As they left arm in arm, Jarmaine's family told us, they are thankful for the witness who testified, giving them closure.

"How do you want Jarmaine to be remembered?" We asked.

"That smile! I wish I had his picture!" McKinney said. "That smile. He was very caring, loving, would help anyone."

Justin Jones' attorney, Charles Salvagio says they plan to appeal. 

He said, quote, "I knew going in I had to discredit an eye witness that had credibility. Anytime there's an eye witness, the state has a case." 
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