Video of alleged rape of RPSO informant admitted as evidence ahead of trial
RAPIDES PARISH, La. (KALB) - On Monday, Nov. 14, just one day before jury selection begins in the trial of Antonio Jones, 48 of Alexandria, the court denied a last-minute defense motion to suppress video evidence showing the alleged rape.
Antonio Jones is accused of raping a woman who was wearing a microphone and hidden camera while acting as an informant when she was forced to perform oral sex on him twice. She was looking to buy meth from Jones as a part of a RADE operation in Alexandria.
Jones is charged with two counts of third-degree rape and one count of manufacturing with the intent to distribute CDS II. During his November trial, Jones will only be facing the two counts of third-degree rape.
In arguing his motion to suppress, Jones’ defense attorney, Phillip Robinson, called the video “purely pornographic.” Robinson said showing the video to a jury could “potentially prejudice them beyond repair.” He also argued there was an expectation of privacy in the defendant’s home.
In his original filing of the motion, Robinson argued the video would lead to a guilty verdict “in spite of other offered evidence to support the defense.”
Prosecutor Brian Cespiva, who filed a motion to quash the defense motion, rebutted that the video’s content does not even come close to some of the videos and photos that have been admitted in court proceedings. Among several court cases, Cespiva gave the example of a video from convicted murderer Timothy Teasley’s “execution” of Chi-Town Gas & Grocery store clerk, Thair Zidan, in February 2017.
Cespiva added that the probative value outweighs any prejudice boundaries.
Judge Chris Hazel denied the defense’s motion and did not provide an explanation, saying his ruling “speaks for itself.” He did emphasize there was no expectation of privacy where an alleged crime occurs.
Ultimately, Hazel went on to admit the video into evidence.
Jones’ trial begins Tuesday, Nov. 15 at 9 a.m. with jury selection.
A trial for Jones’ one count of manufacturing with the intent to distribute CDS II was set for May 8, 2023.
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