Public Safety

Trial for man accused of killing Iowa City cabdriver begins Wednesday

Curtis Jones sits in the courtroom before a hearing at Johnson County Courthouse in Iowa City on Wednesday, Sep. 26, 2018. Jones is charged with first-degree murder in the April 22, 2017 death of Jonathan Wieseler. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)
Curtis Jones sits in the courtroom before a hearing at Johnson County Courthouse in Iowa City on Wednesday, Sep. 26, 2018. Jones is charged with first-degree murder in the April 22, 2017 death of Jonathan Wieseler. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)

DAVENPORT — Testimony will begin Wednesday in a trial for a Mount Pleasant man accused of fatally shooting a cabdriver in Iowa City last year.

Curtis C. Jones, 42, charged with first-degree murder, is on trial this week in Scott County District Court for the fatal shooting of Ricky Lillie, 46, on June 27, 2017. The trial was moved out of Johnson County based on extensive pretrial publicity, which the defense argued would prevent Jones from having a fair trial.

Opening statements will be at 9 a.m. and the trial is expected to last two weeks.

Police said Lillie drove Jones to the 500 block of Ernest Street in southern Iowa City around 11 p.m., where Jones shot Lillie in the head.

Jones also faced a charge of first-degree robbery, but the prosecution dismissed that charge earlier this month. Supplemental trial information was submitted Tuesday, which clarifies that Jones is accused of killing Lillie during a robbery.

The Gazette will provide live coverage from the courtroom once testimony begins.

Jones also is charged with first-degree murder in the April 22, 2017, fatal shooting of Jonathan Wieseler, 34, a bail bondsman killed in his downtown Iowa City office.

Police said Wieseler was shot during a robbery sometime between 10:20 and 10:32 p.m. at Lederman Bail Bonds.

That trial was continued in September after the prosecution requested more time to test DNA evidence. That trial has been reset for Jan. 11 in Polk County District Court, also relocated because of pretrial press coverage.

l Comments: (319) 398-8318; trish.mehaffey@thegazette.com

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