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Fayette judge grants request to have teen-ager evaluated by psychologist

| Friday, May 18, 2001

UNIONTOWN - A Fayette County judge granted the request of a Uniontown teen-ager, charged in the shooting death of a South Connellsville man, to be evaluated by a psychologist.

Judge Ralph C. Warman granted the request made by Anthony D. Jones, 16, of 74 Pershing Court, to be evaluated by Dr. Frank Provenzano of Uniontown. Jones made the request through his attorney Patrick McDaniel of Uniontown who appeared before Warman on Thursday. The purpose of the psychological examination, said McDaniel, is to determine if Jones' case should be transferred to the juvenile system.

In the motion, McDaniel charges that Jones 'does not possess the requisite age, mental capacity or maturity to appreciate the seriousness of the charge against him.'

Jones is charged with criminal homicide in the death of James Keffer, 35, of 115 E Gibson St., South Connellsville last October. Uniontown City Police allege that Jones shot Keffer in the head following an altercation on the night of Oct. 17, 2000, in the vicinity of Connellsville Street, Uniontown.

Keffer died one day later at UPMC-Presbyterian Hospital, Pittsburgh.

Jones has been incarcerated in the county prison since his arrest.

In a motion filed last month, Jones, through McDaniel, is asking that his case be transferred to juvenile court division for adjudication because Jones, in McDaniel's opinion, would better respond to treatment, supervision and rehabilitation under the juvenile system than he would receive in an adult correctional facility.

Jones, in the pre-trial motion, is also asking that the court suppress alleged statements he made to police. According to the police criminal complaint, Jones, with his mother present, allegedly admitted to police that he fired a handgun into the vehicle in which Keffer was a passenger. Jones allegedly told police that he purchased the handgun for $150. Police later learned the handgun had been stolen then resold to Jones.

Warman, however, did not rule on the motion to transfer Jones' case to juvenile court nor on the request to suppress motions. Warman continued a hearing for the motion to transfer Jones' case until June 26 at 9:30 a.m.

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