Zechariah Jones Found Guilty Of Attempted Second Degree Murder; Labeled As Habitual Criminal
The verdict is in for a Casper man accused of trying to kill another man in an argument over a woman.
A jury has found thirty-six year old Zechariah Jones, guilty on one count of attempted second degree murder, one count of aggravated assault and battery, and he has been labeled as a habitual criminal.
Investigators with the Casper Police Department say in late August 2014, a call came in, regarding a shooting that had taken place near the intersection of K and North Lincoln Streets.
During the trial, the victim…Zachary Albrecht, and witnesses told police that Jones approached Albrecht, pointed a gun at him and shot him in the abdomen, then got in a vehicle and fled the area.
They said Jones had his arms straight out at the time the shot was fired, but the defense argued if that was true, then why did the bullet enter Albrecht's abdomen and not his upper torso/skull area.
The witnesses also said they were unsure if they could actually see a gun, and couldn't quite tell if there was another person in the vehicle.
Jones testified in his own defense that at the time in question, he was on his way to the location, because Albrecht wanted to fight him.
Albrecht had hacked his wife's Facebook account and was sending messages to Jones, saying she was interested in him, but somewhere along the line a communication break-down happened.
The allegation of interest was not true.
Jones said shortly before the incident he had picked up Albrecht's significant other, to take her to the park and show her what was going on.
At the park, Jones got out of the vehicle, and while Albrecht was approaching him, Jones started to stretch.
It was then Jones claimed he heard a loud pop, and heard Albrecht say he had been shot.
Jones then said he fled the area with Albrecht's significant other, and then later saw a gun on her.
However, during rebuttal witness testimony, Albrecht's significant other said she was at home at the time, and not with Jones.
Investigators found a .22-caliber shell casing on scene and later found the vehicle, which did not belong to Jones.
Police eventually found Jones and when interviewed, Jones said he did not shoot Albrecht, but he was at the scene at the time, and could be charged as an accomplice, but he refused to elaborate any further.
When asked at trial why he didn't, he said it was because he wanted a lawyer.
He has two prior felony convictions on his record, and said the Police have never been on his side, which is why he didn't go them.
Prosecutors questioned why Jones was bouncing around from place to place after the shooting, and said Jones was trying to distance himself from a situation that he didn't want any other part in.
Jones is being held without bond and will be sentenced at a later date.
With the habitual criminal label, he could get 20-years to life in prison, for the attempted second degree murder charge, and between 10-50 years in prison for the aggravated assault and battery charge.
Both sentences would have to run concurrently, or at the same time.
Jones chose not contest the habitual criminal label, because during the trial he testified that he had two prior felony convictions (1999 - conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery and 2011 - possession of a firearm).
Normally, an aggravated assault and battery charge carries a maximum 10 years in prison, but with the habitual criminal label, it becomes 10-50.