Jury will hear confession tape in Baltimore murder case

A Baltimore Circuit Court judge ruled that a jury will be able to hear the taped confession of a teenage defendant in a murder case, rejecting his lawyers' claim that the police had coerced the statement from him.

Markell Shelton Jones and his mother, Lakisha Jones, testified Monday that they had been influenced by police, an argument Robert Linthicum, Jones' attorney, made again Tuesday.

"The whole thing basically reeks of coercion," he said.

But Judge M. Brooke Murdock said police had done nothing improper in the way they conducted the interviews and said she did not find the defendant's mother credible. Over the objections of prosecutors, Murdock agreed to let a defense expert testify that Markell Jones could have been vulnerable to "suggestibility" during an interrogation.

Markell Jones, 18, is accused of shooting and killing 52-year-old Army veteran Freddie Jones Jr. during a robbery attempt at the Yau Brothers Chinese carryout on Greenmount Avenue. The trial is scheduled to begin Monday.

After recognizing him in surveillance footage showing the attack that police released, Jones' family turned him in, prosecutors said. The video showed two other people who appeared to be involved, but they have not been identified or charged.

In tape of 911 call played in court Tuesday, Markell Jones's grandfather Mark Jones Sr. told police his grandson was involved in the shooting.

"We want to have him picked up because we don't want him running," he said, according to the tape.

Seven police officers were soon at Markell Jones' Better Waverly home, one of them testified Tuesday, placing him in handcuffs and hauling him off to the homicide division.

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