Father takes witness stand in murder case of 6-year-old - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Father takes witness stand in murder case of 6-year-old Layla Jones

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SAGINAW (WJRT) -

(10/31/12) - Six-year-old Layla Jones was shot and killed in Saginaw back in August.

The little girl from Wisconsin was visiting family and friends at a home on Esseling Street when the shooting occurred.

Her father, who was also injured, took the witness stand Wednesday in a hearing for two men charged in the case.

A total of four men were originally charged in the case. The search is still on for one, and Wednesday, another testified that he was in the car where the deadly shots originated.

Shawrone Jones, Layla Jones' father, limped to the witness stand and testified he was at his sister's house with other family members on the night of Aug. 29. Jones said he and Layla were getting into a car to leave around 10:30, when another car pulled up and the gunfire started.

"I just dropped," he said. "I felt the shots and just dropped."

Jones was shot in the stomach and the leg. His mother had just pulled in the driveway to pick up her son and granddaughter when the shooting started.

"'Oh my gosh,' he said, mom, she'd been hit, and right then I'm trying to figure out how is she, and when I looked down, is my grand baby lying there in a puddle of blood," said Karen Cope, Layla's grandmother.

Later, retired Saginaw Police detective Andy Carlson took the stand. Carlson testified that one of the defendants, 22-year-old Levonne Greer, said he and the other defendant, 21-year-old Rico Saldana,  were in the car from where the gunshots came from. Carlson says Greer admitted firing into the crowd, and claimed another man in the car, Michael Lawrence, also fired shots.

"During our interview, he was crying, he was upset, that that happened, it wasn't planned to kill this 6-year-old girl," Carlson said.

Investigators say the motive for the shooting was to retaliate for the shooting death of Bobby Bailey, which happened earlier the same day.

A man who we were asked not to identify, testified that he too was in the car where the shots came from and is being charged as an accessory after the fact.

Saldana and Greer were bound over to circuit court to stand trial for the murder of Layla Jones. The search for Michael Lawrence continues.

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