Prosecutors: Peachtree Mall shooting was act of gang retaliation

COLUMBUS, Ga. — Friday the prosecution wanted to bring a “Street Gang Expert” to the stand to offer an opinion on gang involvement.

Police say the alleged gunman 19-year old Xzavaien Jones and his sister 23-year old Tekoa Young have some affiliation with the Crips gang.

The expert was supposed to use pictures and videos from Jones and Young’s Facebook accounts to show their possible affiliation, but defense attorneys fought to squash the testimony, calling it inadmissible.

William Kendrick, Young’s Defense Attorney said, “All of the authentication issues that come along with that evidence, now we just have a criminal gang expert that can get on the stand and can testify to whatever their hearts contended.”

The prosecution went back and forth with defense attorneys for more than 20 minutes. The defense argued that the information was not submitted before the trial started and that the defense was being ambushed.

Defense Attorney Tim Flournoy stated his client Xzavaien Jones was a part of the Crips gang, but he wasn’t the shooter.

The prosecution then brought in a Columbus Police Officer, Travis Contreras that pulled over Jones during a routine traffic stop in 2015. The officer said as soon as he approached Jones he noticed a blue bandanna.

Contreras said, “He said he was a part of the criminal street gang Crips and that they would bond him out.”

Eight hours of surveillance video was condensed down into 8 minutes. Prosecutors say the video shows the suspects parking their car, walking towards Peachtree Mall, shooting the victim, running into the parking lot and speeding off.

Defense attorneys argued there is no way to identify the people on camera.

Court is scheduled to pick up Monday morning at 9 a.m.

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