Judge reduces charge for ex-NAU student in fatal shooting

Steven Jones in court (file)

A judge has granted a request from prosecutors to reduce the most serious charge against a former Northern Arizona University student in a fatal shooting.

Steven Jones had been tried on first-degree murder in the 2015 shooting on the Flagstaff campus, but a jury deadlocked on the charge. His retrial is scheduled to start in January.

Prosecutors moved to reduce the charge to second-degree murder to keep the retrial on track.

That's after Jones' attorneys petitioned the state Court of Appeals to dismiss the first-degree murder charge against him, arguing a jury acquitted him in the first trial.

Coconino County Superior Court Judge Dan Slayton approved the prosecutors' request last week.

Jones faces up to 25 years in prison on the second-degree murder charge if he's convicted. He's also charged with six counts of aggravated assault.


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