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Jones bragged about slaying, inmate testifies

August 1, 2018

A Fort Wayne man charged in the 2016 murder of 22-year-old Sha Rif confessed to the slaying and bragged about it in jail, a witness testified Tuesday.

Jayson Lane said he shared a cell block at the Allen County Jail last year with Marquavious Jones, 29. He said Jones, who is accused of shooting Rif to death Nov. 30, 2016, initially thought investigators had little evidence to tie him to the crime.

“Little do they know,” Lane recalled Jones saying. “I shredded him up.”

The statements came on the first day of witness testimony in Jones’ trial in Allen Superior Court.

Lane, who said he is facing 15 years to life in prison on a gun charge in federal court, told prosecutors he asked a family member to relay information about the confession to police after speaking several times with Jones.

He said he has not been offered anything in return for his testimony.

Jones shot the man inside Rif’s car after the two left a party together, according to court documents. Rif died in the parking lot of a gas station at Lafayette and Clinton streets, and witnesses found him outside the door of the business around 2 a.m.

His white car was still running when police arrived. The driver’s-side door was open, and a bullet hole could be seen in a window in the door.

A woman who found Rif in the parking lot can be heard on a recording of a 911 call played for jurors pleading with a dispatcher to send emergency crews to the gas station.

“His eyes are closing,” the woman says. “Hello? We’re losing him.”

Allen County Deputy Prosecutor Tesa Helge showed jurors two videos taken from motion-activated surveillance cameras at the gas station. The grainy, choppy video shows vehicles stopping at the business and police arriving there.

Rif was shot at least twice, police said. Investigators found two .380-caliber shell casings in the front passenger seat of the vehicle, and bullets taken from his body likely came from a gun that fired that size ammunition, Indiana State Police forensic firearms examiner Michelle Fletcher said in recorded testimony shown Tuesday.

A man who was at the party told police he saw Jones with a gun and loading it with .380-caliber ammunition before he got into the car with Rif and another man identified as “D,” a probable cause affidavit stated.

The gun has never been found.

Fort Wayne police crime scene technician Al Garriott said areas including door handles of the car were swabbed to try to recover DNA evidence. He said the shot that broke the driver’s-side window likely was fired by someone sitting in the passenger seat of the vehicle.

Lane testified that the motive for the killing was jealousy, echoing information in the affidavit filed last year. Two women told police that Jones was jealous about Rif’s friendship with them, the affidavit states.

“He was not remorseful,” Lane said, referring to Jones.

Prosecutors Helge and Tom Chaille are expected to wrap up their case today, and defense attorneys Ryan Gardner and Nick Wallace will call their first witnesses.

mleblanc@jg.net

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