State presents cell phone evidence, autopsy report in Spence Street murder trial

State presents cell phone evidence, autopsy report in Spence Street murder trial
The murder trial for Clifford Gray, left, and Mclendon Harrison started Tuesday. The two men are charged with murder in the 2017 death of Jerone Jones. (Source: Angelina County Jail)

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Defense attorneys representing two of three suspects charged in the 2017 shooting of a Lufkin man began presenting their case to the jury Thursday morning.

The trial of Clifford Gray and McClendon Harrison began Tuesday in the 217th District Court. Both men have pleaded not guilty in the murder of Jerone Jones.

Amy Murphy, an employee of Forensic Medical Management Services of Beaumont, was among the first witnesses called to the stand. Defense attorneys questioned Murphy about the autopsy findings for Jerone Jones. Jones was found shot at a home in the 1800 block of Spence St. in Dec. 2017. He later died at a Lufkin hospital.

Murphy went into further details concerning the gunshot wounds to Jones’ head, neck, and left arm, and explained how the wounds were reflected in the autopsy report. The report found Jones’ cause of death was penetrating and perpetuating gunshots. His death was ruled a homicide.

The murder trial for Clifford Gray, left, and Mclendon Harrison resumed Thursday morning. The two men were charged with murder in the 2017 death of Jerone Jones. (Source: Angelina County Jail)
The murder trial for Clifford Gray, left, and Mclendon Harrison resumed Thursday morning. The two men were charged with murder in the 2017 death of Jerone Jones. (Source: Angelina County Jail)

Detective Jamie Jenkins with Lufkin Police Department was called to the stand to testify, and provided Jones’ phone as evidence. Jenkins explained he was called to the home to image the victim’s cell phone to get evidence. Jenkins explained that software was used to extract information such as text messages, photos, and emails. Defense attorneys said a future witness would provide testimony about messages found on the phone detailing a “small debt” between Jones and one of the murder suspects, McClendon Harrison.

A member of the defense team said it was possible they could wrap up their case by the end of Thursday.

Jermaine Gray, Clifford Gray, and McClendon Harrison were all three indicted for first-degree murder and second-degree felony aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in the shooting death of Jerone Jones. In addition, Jermaine Gray and Harrison were also charged with unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon, which is a third-degree felony.

Jermaine Gray pleaded guilty in Sept. 2018 to murder as part of a plea deal. As part of his plea agreement, prosecutors abandoned two other charges in his case. Gray was sentenced to 35 years in the Texas Department of Corrections with credit of time served.

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