Timothy Jones, 20, of the 12500-block of S. Union Ave., is charged with murder, home invasion, armed robbery, leaving the scene of an accident, fleeing police, and several traffic citations.
Officers responded Wednesday to a report of a home invasion in the 7800-block of South Ellis when they spotted the suspects and gave chase. During the pursuit, the police SUV collided with another vehicle driven by Jacqueline Reynolds. The impact of that crash sent Reynolds' car into another car.
The family of Jacqueline Reynolds says they do not want to see the suspect charged with murder. The highly religious family spoke of forgiveness for Jones, who is expected to appear in bond court Friday.
"Her life was snuffed out. There is no way she would want this young man to go to prison for the better part of his life that would be snuffed out as well," said Gwendolyn Jones-Kennedy, victim's sister. "Absolutely no way that she would want this to happen. My heart breaks for him. My heart breaks for his family."
"I'm nobody's angel, and people have forgiven me, so who am I not to do likewise?" said victim's brother, Lee Jones.
A spokesperson from the state's attorney's office says they charged Timothy Jones based on the evidence and the law. He is also facing several other charges related to the home invasion and fleeing police. Prosecutors say they are sensitive to the family's wishes and open to sitting down with them to discuss it, but the suspect has already been charged.
Jones' public defender says there are discrepancies about the timeline of the events, and that the home invasion may be more accurately characterized as a debt collection gone wrong.
Outside court, Jones' distraught ex-girlfriend vouched for his goodness, saying he was student and football player incapable of such mayhem.
Meanwhile, the police department says it is looking into the pursuit and crash to make sure officers followed proper procedures. A spokesperson said the patrol car's emergency lights were activated, but it is all still under investigation.
Reynolds' family will not be in court Friday, but they say they are praying for the suspect.
"I thought a bomb went off," Tisha Hopson said.
Reynolds was killed instantly. Two officers were seriously injured. The people in the third car were not hurt.
Lavonia Noble-King, a longtime friend who lives in the same building as the victim, said Reynolds was on her way to a funeral when she was killed just blocks from her home.
"She never knew what hit her. My consolation is she never had time to be afraid or hurt," Noble-King said.
Reynolds worked at a downtown law firm.
"She loved her job, she loved coming through that door every day," Daniel Rizzo, former colleague, said.
"I thought we would grow old together, like the Golden Girls," Noble-King said. "I guess God seen different."