DALLAS - Both sides have rested in the first state trial for one of the people accused of being involved in criminal activity that led to the kidnapping and killing of a 13-year-old girl.
Shavon Randle, an innocent victim, was kidnapped because of stolen drugs.
She had nothing to do with the drugs, but she was still shot multiple times.
Desmond Jones is on trial for organized crime, even though nobody is charged with her murder.
Prosecutors opened this trial by calling it a gigantic puzzle.
They’re now hoping the puzzle pieces pull together a picture for jurors that leads to a guilty verdict for Jones.
“How does Desmond Jones get involved, or really, become a suspect or potential witness in this case?” prosecutor Lisa Falk asked Jason Rohack, a detective with the Lancaster Police Department.
“When we identified the vehicle, the white Ford,” Rohack answered.
A Ford 500 that was seen in the Amber Alert released after Randle was snatched.
Rohack was the lead investigator. He said it was a phone call from Jones’ girlfriend, telling them he had her car.
Rohack recounted what Jones later told him in a recorded interview not shown in court.
“[Jones] admitted to being there that morning in the car with Devontae Owens when Laquon Qilkerson and Mike Titus went to Shavon Randle’s house,” Rohack testified.
Defense attorneys tried to show jurors the confession was forced.
“Do you think it’s right to threaten a 20-year-old kid with the death penalty to get him to talk?” Jones’ defense attorney Allan Fishburn asked. “[Saying] you’re going to end up getting that needle.”
Cell phone tracking was another part of the state's case to connect Jones to the kidnapping.
“This is the first usage of the phone that was associated with Mr. Jones,” FBI agent Mark Sedgwick testified.
Sedgwick said he tracked phone numbers associated with Jones and others in the drug crew, Owens Wilkerson, and Darius Fields.
“They are there during the time of the kidnapping, then they start traveling north up towards where the victim was located. During that time, you see the victims phone start to make those ransom calls,” Sedgwick said.
Phones associated with the men were tracked to the Oak Cliff drug house where Randle spent her last moments of life.
“As they're leaving the residence, the area where the victim is located, those phones go off the network,” Sedgwick said.
The actual phones were never recovered.
Randle turned 13 just six days before she was killed.
Her mother, Shequana Persley, spoke to her the morning she was taken.
Hours later, her sister-in-law would call her with life-changing news
“At any time after that call, were you ever able to see your daughter again alive?” prosecutor Falk asked Persley.
“No,” she responded.
Both sides rested, and the defense did so without calling any witnesses.
The judge will read what’s called ‘the charge’ to the jury Friday morning.
Both sides will then make closing statements.
Jurors should begin deliberating early Friday.