New murder charges filed against man accused of killing UVA football player

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — Authorities have increased murder charges against the man accused of fatally shooting three University of Virginia football players last year.

A special grand jury in Charlottesville issued the new aggravated murder indictment against Christopher Darnell Jones Jr. If convicted, the 23-year-old would serve a life sentence. These are the most serious murder charges available in Virginia after the death penalty was abolished in 2021.

Jones was a UVA student and former member of the football team in November 2022 when police said he opened fire on a charter bus that was returning students from a field trip.

Football players Lavel Davis Jr., D’Sean Perry and Devin Chandler were killed, while a fourth member of the team, Mike Hollins, and another student were injured.

Jones was initially charged with second-degree murder following his arrest.

Albemarle County Commonwealth’s Attorney James Hingeley said in a news release that the new charges were returned Wednesday.

Liz Murtagh, the public defender in Charlottesville and Albemarle County who was appointed to represent Jones, said she was “sorry the prosecutor chose this path” but declined further comment.

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