Testimony begins in trial for murder of woman killed during police chase

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A camera was in the courtroom as testimony started in the trial of Timothy Jones, who is charged with murder for his part in a Chicago police chase.

In 2012, officers pursuing Jones crashed into a car driven by Jacqueline Reynolds, who died as a result of the accident.

"He is responsible for the death of Jacqueline Reynolds," said Barbara Bailey, prosecutor.

Prosecutors say Reynolds, 54, was on her way to a funeral, when a police SUV, involved in a high-speed chase, ran a red light at 76th Street and Yates Boulevard. The SUV, which had its lights and sirens on, slammed into Reynolds' bright blue Pontiac. She died instantly.

It's taken nearly two years for this case to come to trial.

"When the defendant went out on the street that day, when he went to that apartment to commit those crimes, he was making conscious choices and he was setting in motion a series of events that ended in a murder," Bailey said.

During Wednesday's opening statements, prosecutors said that Jones, then 20-years-old, allegedly broke into a nearby apartment where he and an accomplice carried out an armed robbery. Police were alerted and the chase began as Jones and two others tried to get away.

Under the law, if prosecutors can prove that Jones committed the armed robbery and home invasion, and that someone died as a direct result of those actions, then he can be found guilty of first degree murder.

But Jones' defense attorney said Wednesday that there was no gun, and that this wasn't a planned home invasion but a debt claim gone bad; not between strangers, but between two partners in crime.

"This accident occurred miles away. There is no connection. There was no armed robbery, there is no connection, there is no gun. Timothy Jones can't be found guilty," said Keith Spence, defense attorney.

Reynolds family has previously said that they do not support the murder charges against Jones - instead they have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the City of Chicago and the two officers involved in the crash, alleging it was they that were improperly carrying out procedures established for car chases. An internal investigation into that matter has yet to be completed.
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