No bail for suspect in pregnant teen's murder

Charinez Jefferson is shown in this image.
August 22, 2011 5:44:38 PM PDT
An 18-year-old facing first-degree murder charges in the shooting of a pregnant teenager whose baby was saved by doctors is being held without bail.

Prosecutors charged Timothy Jones Sunday and he appeared in court on Monday. Jones is accused of fatally shooting Charinez Jefferson, 17, who was 6 months pregnant with her second son. Doctors delievered her unborn baby, who was also wounded during the shooting. The baby boy remains hospitalized in critical condition.

Jones is from Chicago's Southwest Side and is a convicted felon.

Charinez's mother Debbie Jefferson didn't say anything as she and her family walked out of the Cook County Court House Monday; she had just seen Jones, and heard an account of how he allegedly shot and killed her pregnant daughter.

Earlier Monday morning, Debbie Jefferson and her daughter Candiss told ABC7 that they were relieved an arrest was made in the shooting, which happened nearly a week ago.

"I'm glad he's off the street because if he did it to mine, he would do it to someone else's daughter," Debbie Jefferson said.

"I'm relieved. My stress level kind of went down because I know he is in custody," Candiss Jefferson said.

Prosecutors say last Tuesday night, Charinez Jefferson was walking back from a corner store in the Marquette Park neighborhood with a person from Jones' rival gang. That person ran away as Jones got out of a car, and started shooting.

"The defendant began to approach the victim who pleaded with the defendant not to shoot her, as she was pregnant, but the defendant opened fire and began shooting the victim while calling her names," said John Dillion, Assistant State's Attorney.

"She was not even in a gang. She was an innocent bystander, going to the store for her mother," said Brigette Williams, the victim's aunt.

Charinez Jefferson was shot in the head and body, and died from her injuries. Even though her son survived, family members say he has limited brain activity.

"He's still fighting. He's just not like the average baby, making movements or anything," Debbie Jefferson said.

On Monday, Jones' relatives said he is not the person responsible for the murder, and that he was recuperating at his mother's house from a recent gunshot wound and can barely walk.

"My condolences go out to the young lady and her family, but I wouldn't be standing here if I really felt that he had something to do with this when we know 100 percent that he was in the house all that day healing from his own wounds," said Stanley Jones, the suspect's cousin.

Chicago police credit tips from the community for the break in the case. They have not released any specifics on how they linked Jones to the shooting.

"I've got to pray for him, as well as his mother, but at least she'll be able to see her son. After Wednesday, I won't see mine again," Debbie Jefferson said. Charinez Jefferson's family is planning to lay her to rest on Wednesday.


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