116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS — A Cedar Rapids man faces up to 30 years in prison in the 2019 fatal shooting of Wayne Jones in an argument over a pack of cigarettes at a party.
Jermaine Walker, 38, originally charged with first-degree murder, pleaded to a lesser charge of voluntary manslaughter, intimidation with a dangerous weapon, prohibited person in possession of a firearm, trafficking stolen weapons and assault while displaying a dangerous weapon.
He fatally shot Jones, 31, of Cedar Rapids, on Nov. 2, 2019, according to court documents.
Walker, in the plea, admitted that he committed voluntary manslaughter by fatally shooting Jones in a “sudden, irresistible passion, in response to a serious provocation, along with discharging the gun during a party with the intent to provoke fear, possessing a gun as a felon and displaying a firearm in a threatening manner toward Keshawna Rich during the party.”
According to a search warrant affidavit, Rich called 911 at 5:43 a.m. Nov. 2, saying someone had been shot in the chest. Officers found Jones, who had an empty gun holster on his hip, lying on the living room floor with a gunshot wound to his chest.
He was taken to UnityPoint Health-St. Luke's Hospital by ambulance and died there at 6:47 a.m., according to the affidavit.
Rich initially wasn’t truthful with police about what happened that night.
Later, a caller identified as “L.J.,” told police Rich had admitted she had lied to police. L.J. said Rich had told her the shooting was over a pack of cigarettes.
Jones had argued with a man known as “Chico,” later identified as Walker, who is the cousin of Rich’s boyfriend.
Walker, while at the party, was smoking other people’s cigarettes, and Jones called him out for being “cheap,” which started an argument.
Walker left the party and came back with a gun. He shot Jones and pointed the gun at Rich’s head, threatening her and telling her not to tell anyone what had happened.
In a second interview with police, Rich verified what L.J. had told investigators.
Walker was located in the parking lot of a grocery store. During a police interview, Walker admitted to being at the party but denied shooting Jones, according to the criminal complaint.
“This was a senseless tragedy that did not have to happen,” First Assistant Linn County Attorney Nick Maybanks told The Gazette Thursday.
“The presence of firearms during this confrontation and the use of illegal drugs also complicated this case,” he said. “There will be a sentencing in the future, but it should be known that our thoughts today are with Wayne Jones and his family.”
Alfredo Parrish, Walker’s attorney, declined to comment on the plea agreement.
Maybanks said all the charges in the Jones’ shooting will run consecutively, except for the assault while displaying a dangerous weapon — two years — which will run concurrently, for a total of 30 years.
Walker also pleaded to another misdemeanor charge of assault after wielding a revolver in a threatening manner toward Euery J. Williams on Oct. 19, 2019. That charge will run concurrently to the other charges.
Walker will have to serve a mandatory minimum of five years before being eligible for parole.
A sentencing date has not been set at this time.
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