Lyvonne Cargill, the mother of Je'Rean Blake speaks with reporters following the verdict of Chauncey Owens Thursday. Seen on left is attorney Gary Anthony of Detroit. (Steve Perez / Detroit News)
Detroit— Two men charged in the May 2010 shooting death of 17-year-old Je’Rean Blake were found guilty of murder and other related charges in the case Thursday.
Charles Jones was found guilty of second-degree murder and perjury by a Wayne County Circuit Court jury early Thursday afternoon after four days of deliberation.
“Thank you, God,” cried Lyvonne Cargill, the mother of Blake, after the verdict was read.
But the jury acquitted Jones on weapons charges in the case, which his attorney, Leon Weiss, said might be grounds for an appeal.
“It sounds to me like a compromised verdict,” Weiss said. “It’s a very confusing verdict. They found him not guilty on the (weapons) charges but guilty on the murder charge.”
Blake, a Detroit teen, was shot and killed outside an east side party store May 14, 2010, following an argument with Jones’ co-defendant, Chauncey Owens. Owens, 37, and Jones, 28, were originally charged with first-degree murder in Blake’s killing. Prosecutors say Jones gave Owens the gun that was used to shoot Blake.
During a search for Jones following the Blake murder, Detroit police raided his east side home and Jones’ 7-year-old daughter, Aiyana Stanley-Jones, was shot to death by Detroit police officer Joseph Weekley. A crew from a reality television show accompanied police on the raid. Weekley’s first manslaughter trial in the young girl’s death ended with a hung jury. He faces a new trial on the charges later this year.
Last Friday, a separate jury returned a verdict in Owens’ case. The verdict remained sealed until Thursday when Jones’ jury returned a verdict. Owens was found guilty of first-degree murder and felony firearms and felon in possession of a firearms charges.
Cargill was both ecstatic and reflective after learning the fate of the two men charged in her son’s death.
“I can put a smile on my face now,” Cargill told reporters. “I got justice for my son.”
Cargill said Blake, who wanted to be a Marine, was “gone but not forgotten,” and she urged others to keep him memory alive.
“Don’t ever forget his name,” Cargill said.
Owens’ attorney, David Cripps, said his client maintains he is innocent. Cripps said Owens made admissions to police implicating himself only because he was emotionally vulnerable at the time because of a close relative’s death.
“He was following the lead of a police officer who skillfully interviewed him,” said Cripps, following the reading of the verdict.
The trial for the men began last month, but Owens and Jones had separate juries. The trial was presided over by Wayne County Circuit Judge Richard Skutt.
The sentencing date for Jones is March 13 and 14 for Owens.