Murder suspect in custody - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Murder suspect in custody

November 9, 2005

Albany - Eighteen-year old Hiram Jones, Junior is accused of stabbing 42-year J. M. King to death last Thursday night. Police took Jones into custody on a probation violation yesterday and charged him with murder Wednesday.

They say the motive for King's death was robbery but won't release any other details. Jones is in the Dougherty County Jail.

  • Questions Remain about investigation:

Even though there is now a suspect in custody, questions remain tonight about how Albany Police initially responded in this case. Thursday night, a family saw headlights and heard King's car careen through a lot behind their house. They called Albany police.

The family says the officer did little, that he spent less than one minute trying to find the car where J.M. King lay dead or dying.

"Gina" and her family were getting ready for bed at their home on Wadkins Avenue when they heard a strange sound. She says, "I heard a loud noise. It sounded like thunder or a loud metal hitting something." So Gina, who doesn't want us to use her real name, got up and looked out her window.

That's when her mother came into the room and told her what she heard and saw. "She looked out the window and saw a car. All she could really see was the cars lights. She saw where the lights made it's way into the woods, and shortly after it emerged into the woods she didn't see the lights anymore."

So Gina's mother called police and told them the same thing. "He asked her to tell him what she heard and saw and she said she heard a loud noise close to her room, she went to see what it was, and when she looked out she saw a car, she didn't anyone, but she just saw a car go into the woods, and that's when she called and he told her he would go and check it out. I then went to this window here to see exactly where he was going to be looking."

From the kitchen window, the women watched, as the police officer rode behind their home. They say he stopped, not getting out of his car, turned around and then left, taking only about a minute to inspect the area. It was just beyond here where J.M. King's Cab and body were both discovered nearly 20 hours later.

Gina doesn't think the officer was thorough enough. "I feel like he should have done more. More than he did. For the length of time he was there, there was no way he could have seen anything. He wasn't there long enough to see anything."

J.M. King's widow, Kim, agrees. She says, "I'm angry about that. 'Cause I don't care what job you have. When you get that job, you supposed to do your very best."

But Albany Police stand behind the officer, Corey Johnson, saying there was no blunder, and that Johnson did everything right. Lt. Tracey Barnes says, "One there wasn't even a mistake by the officer. There's probably some unfortunate incidents that led into this. The officer did everything that they could do."

But one thing the officer did not do, was make contact with the residents at 404 Wadkins again. "That was it, we didn't hear anything else from him. He didn't come back? He didn't come back, no."

Nearly 20 hours later, Gina's mother spotted the cab. J.M. King was dead on the ground beside it.

WALB has requested the 911 tapes recorded between the officer and dispatch as well as the conversation that took place between Gina's mother and the dispatcher. The tapes should be ready Thursday morning.

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