New Indictment Charges Joseph Peoples and Bernard Fleming With Michael Jones Murder

Joseph Peoples pleaded innocent Friday to charges from a 12-count indictment charging him and a co-defendant, Bernard Fleming, with the 2012 shooting death of 30-year-old Michael Edward Jones.

This indictment is the second delivered by a grand jury in the case.

Peoples, 21, was initially indicted last April as the sole suspect in Jones’ murder. But prosecutors said Friday that a new grand jury investigation found that Fleming participated in Jones’ death. A third man, James Hamlin, is charged with two weapons violations.

Fleming and Hamlin have not been arrested, According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Erin Lyons, but warrants have been issued for both men in connection with the case.

Peoples and Fleming are charged with first-degree premeditated murder while armed, assault, tampering with physical evidence and several weapons offenses in connection with Jones’ death.

Police found Jones on July 7, 2012 at approximately 10:38 p.m. in the 1700 block of 7th Street Northwest, unconscious and unresponsive with a gunshot wound. He died on scene. Four days later, Peoples was arrested and charged with second-degree murder while armed in Jones’ death.

Charging documents in the case say that the night of the murder, Peoples was involved in a shootout with Jones.

A witness told police that they saw Peoples walk up to an unidentified male adult in the 1700 block of 7th Street Northwest moments before the shooting, documents state.

The witness said the unidentified man passed something to Peoples, and Peoples immediately turned and shot in the direction of Jones, documents state.

Jones returned fire but was shot in the head and fell to the ground, the witness told investigators.

Video footage from the crime scene show Jones returning fire after being shot at from an area out of camera view. Jones is then seen turning to run but is shot and falls to the ground, documents say.

Peoples is then seen seconds later in front of a nearby building tucking something into the front of his pants before entering, documents say. The building security camera captures Peoples place something under the building’s staircase, then running up the stairs out of the camera’s view.

Police said two handguns from underneath that same staircase were recovered at the crime scene.

The case is scheduled for a motion hearing on January 31 with Judge Robert Morin. A trial date is set for February 3, pending the arrests of Fleming and Hamlin.

The indictment can be found below.

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