University of Virginia shooting suspect faces new AGGRAVATED murder charges for 2022 killings of three Cavaliers football players and could face life in prison if convicted
- Christopher Darnell Jones Jr. is accused of fatally shooting three ex-teammates
- Victims of the shooting included: Lavel Davis Jr., D’Sean Perry and Devin Chandler
- DailyMail.com provides all the latest international sports news
The suspect accused of fatally shooting three University of Virginia football players in 2022 now faces enhanced murder charges, which would carry a mandatory life sentence if convicted at trial.
A special grand jury in Charlottesville has issued new aggravated murder indictments against Christopher Darnell Jones Jr. These are the most serious murder charges available in Virginia after the death penalty was abolished in 2021.
Jones was a student at UVA in November 2022 and a former member of the football team when police say he opened fire on a charter bus that brought students home from a field trip.
Football players Lavel Davis Jr., D’Sean Perry and Devin Chandler were killed, while a fourth team member, Mike Hollins, and another student were injured.
Jones was initially charged with second-degree murder following his arrest.
A special grand jury has issued new aggravated murder indictments against Christopher Darnell Jones Jr., a former football team player, accused of killing former teammates.
This combination of undated images provided by University of Virginia Athletics shows NCAA college football players, from left, Devin Chandler, Lavel Davis Jr. and D’Sean Perry. The three Virginia football players were killed in a shooting in Charlottesville while returning from a school trip.
Albemarle County Commonwealth’s Attorney James Hingeley said in a news release that the new indictments were returned Wednesday.
Liz Murtagh, the Charlottesville and Albemarle County public defender appointed to represent Jones, said she was “sorry the prosecutor chose this path” but declined further comment.
The decision comes a week after Hollins led the Cavaliers football team onto the field in the season opener for his emotional return to the field.
Virginia coach Tony Elliott said before the game that every day was a triumph as they began their second season together.
“Every day that we continue to wake up and come to work, do our best, that’s the triumph in all of this,” Elliott said. “And now we have an opportunity, on a national stage, to show how resilient the human spirit is.”
There were reports that Jones was angry with members of the team.
UVA student Ryan Lynch said CNN in 2022, Jones pushed Davis before saying, “you’re still kidding me.”
Lynch said the comment “was very weird because they didn’t talk to him the whole trip.”
Virginia running back and survivor Mike Hollins led the team out of the tunnel last Saturday.
University of Virginia President Jim Ryan speaks during a memorial service for three murdered University of Virginia football players, Lavel Davis Jr., DSean Perry and Devin Chandler.
That’s when Jones allegedly began shooting.
Jones first came to the attention of the university’s threat assessment team in fall 2022 after a person unaffiliated with the school reported a remark Jones allegedly made about possession of a firearm, University Police Chief Timothy Longo Sr. Longo said at the time.
No threats were reported in connection with the gun concern, but authorities looked into the matter and contacted Jones’ roommate.
Longo also said Jones had been involved in a “hazing investigation.” He said he did not have all the facts and circumstances of the case, although he said the investigation was closed after witnesses failed to cooperate.