Shaquana Persley, Shavon Randle's mother, told jurors Thursday that her daughter had just celebrated her 13th birthday with a hotel pool party, two days before she was kidnapped, shot and killed in an alleged post-drug robbery revenge plot.
"They had some fun," Persley said, smiling as she remembered her daughter, who was living with her aunt at the time she was killed.
The morning she was allegedly kidnapped, Persley said, Randle called her on FaceTime, just to say hi.
Persley, the last witness called in Desmond Jones' trial for engaging in organized criminal activity, never heard from her daughter again.
A Dallas County grand jury indicted Jones, along with three alleged co-conspirators, in August 2019, for their alleged participation in the events that led to Randle being shot four times in an abandoned house on East Kiest Boulevard in east Oak Cliff.
”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.
In the days and weeks that followed Randle's death, memorials piled up at the abandoned house, which was eventually razed by Dallas in October 2017.
According to testimony during Jones' trial, Randle was kidnapped after Kendall Perkins stole 22 pounds of marijuana that belonged to Jones and his co-defendants. Randle's cousin, LaDoris Randle, was dating Perkins at the time of the robbery.
Prosecutors told jurors that the kidnappers intended to abduct LaDoris Randle, but she was at work when they came by the home at which she and Shavon Randle were staying. After the kidnapping, she received several phone calls from Shavon Randle's phone demanding the return of the drugs.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to the Observer's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Dallas's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
“They was like, 'You better not get the police involved. Bring us our drugs.' And then they hung up," LaDoris Randle said.
Three days after Randle was kidnapped, Jones led police and FBI agents to Randle's body. In an interview with FBI special agent Michael Mahan, Jones admitted that he was in the house when Randle was killed.
Jones' defense attorneys did not call any witnesses. If convicted, their client faces between 5 and 99 years in prison. Closing arguments from both sides are expected Friday.