3:48 p.m. Friday: Updated with information about Jones' sentence
A Dallas County jury found Desmond Jones guilty Friday afternoon of engaging in criminal activity, a first-degree felony, for his role in the kidnapping and murder of 13-year-old Shavon Randle in 2017. The jury deliberated for about three hours.
Jurors sentenced Jones to 99 years in prison, the maximum sentence allowed.
According to prosecution witnesses, Jones and a trio of associates — two of whom are slated to go on trial this summer — sought revenge on Randle's family after Kendrell Perkins, Randle's cousin's boyfriend, stole 22 pounds of marijuana that belonged to Jones and his co-defendants.
"Desmond Jones was part of the conspiracy, the criminal activity, the crew that kidnapped a 13-year-old little girl and ultimately killed her," Dallas County Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Falk said during her opening statement.
The group planned to kidnap the cousin, LaDoris Randle, from her mother's home, but kidnapped Shavon Randle instead when LaDoris Randle wasn't home.
Ladoris Randle told jurors earlier this week that she received calls from Shavon Randle's cellphone soon after the abduction.
“They was like, 'You better not get the police involved. Bring us our drugs.' And then they hung up," LaDoris Randle said.
She didn't call the police because, she told jurors, she believed she and Perkins could secure Shavon Randle's safe return.
Three days after Shavon Randle went missing, Desmond Jones led police and FBI agents to an abandoned east Oak Cliff home. The 13-year-old was inside, dead from four gunshot wounds. Jones later told the FBI that he was in the house and heard the shots that killed Randle, but he wasn't in the room when she died.
Jones' defense team did not call any witnesses.