Police: Boy, 14, killed by suburban gang

Mother's constant contact with son couldn't prevent violent death
June 8, 2009 But the Crofton boy died the afternoon of Saturday, May 30, just blocks away from his home in a manner more fitting to the most dangerous parts of the country -- the victim of a brutal gang beating that left him bleeding and dying on the street, police said.

It was a violent fate that the boy's mother, Jenny Adkins, had been fighting to prevent for weeks ever since her son told her he had been threatened by a neighborhood gang at school.

According to Jones' aunt, Adkins contacted her son's school to tell them about the threats more than a month ago. Then Adkins moved the boy to a different school and kept in close contact with him through text messaging.

"I talked to him every half hour, literally every half hour to the point where he was feeling suffocated by me, because I wanted to make sure that I knew where he was every minute of every day," she told "Good Morning America."

The day Christopher Jones was killed was no different, except that around 4 p.m., her son didn't respond to her text message or repeated phone calls.

"I felt uneasy," Adkins said. "I heard sirens. I called again. I heard an ambulance."

Witness Barbara Hartman was one of the first to run to Jones' aide.

"His wounds were severe and he was bleeding from everywhere," Hartman said. "I knelt down. I started telling him to hang on, help is on the way. I grabbed his hand to hold it."

According to witnesses, the boy had been surrounded by six young men while he was riding his bike. Two of the young men started hitting him repeatedly, the witnesses said.

"The witnesses that saw him say he continued to pedal as he was unconscious until he fell and hit his head on the street," the boy's mother Jenny Adkins said.

Jones was pronounced dead at the hospital.

"I begged them to put him on life support and they did but he was already dead," Adkins said. "He was already dead. He wasn't coming back. So my daughter came into the room and said 'Mom, let him go.'"

Two Teens Arrested, a Community Outraged

Two boys, 16-year-old Javel George and a 14-year-old that police have not identified, were arrested and charged with manslaughter.

"This crime was violent enough that it took Christopher Jones' life," Anne Arundel County Police Chief James Teare said. "You can't get any more violent than that."

Police said they are treating the killing as a gang attack. On their Myspace pages, the suspects flash the local gang signs, police said.

Though the neighborhood gang is relatively small, Teare said that is of no comfort to him.

"If you think about it, your national gangs -- they all started very small on street corners," he said.

For Adkins, it never seemed like such a street corner would be so close to their peaceful lives.

"He died on our street in suburbia where we paid $350,000 for a townhouse in a neighborhood where our shutters have to match our doors," she said.

Around 1,000 family, friends and neighbors of the 14-year-old gathered in a candlelight vigil last Monday night near where the boy was attacked. Jones' mother, some of his friends and a local pastor spoke, according to a report by ABCNews' Maryland affiliate WJLA.

"If it weren't for my daughter, I wouldn't even want to be here," Adkins said at the vigil. "He was the light of my life."

"He was very outgoing," friend Daniel Dolbow said. "He was an overall awesome person ... really fun to be around and he was a great friend."

Pastor Dennis Gray of the Riva Trace Baptist Church urged the crowd not to fight the violence with more violence, according to a report by the Baltimore Sun.

"I want to encourage you tonight to make a choice to give up the violence," Gray said. "Not retaliate, to forgive."

David Jones, the boy's father, emotionally echoed Gray's words.

"Stop the violence. This is obviously, just look at this -- no parent should go through what we are going through," he said.

Copyright © 2023 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.