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An Arizona jury suspended deliberating the fate of Steven Jones, a then-freshman at Northern Arizona University who shot four other students after an off-campus party on October 9, 2015, killing one of them after his defense team filed a motion for a mistrial. The defense alleges that during the closing arguments the prosecutor led the jury to believe that the first time Jones started claiming the shooting was self-defense was when Jones was in custody. In reality, the defense says, Jones started discussing the self-defense much earlier even when another student was trying to get him to put down his gun. The judge is holding a hearing on the issue.
Colin Brough died in the attack, and Nick Piring, Nick Prato, and Kyle Zientek were injured
Jones testified in his own defense. “If I waited another split second, I’d get seriously hurt, or die, because they were right on top of me,” he said.
In an aggressive closing argument, prosecutor Ammon Barker called Jones’ testimony “rehearsed” and showed the jury a series of PowerPoint slides entitled “Defendant’s Lies.” Barker also accused Jones of having “convenient eyesight.” Jones testified that the punch knocked his glasses off his face. He explained that he struggled to see some things, but then said he could see others. He fired the shots without his glasses.
Aaron Keller contributed to this report.
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