Second charge dropped against city commissioner

Errol D Jones, the St Augustine City Commissioner on trial because police say he interfered in the investigation of a disturbance call at his mother’s home last October, got some welcome news as the first day of his trial got underway — the state dropped a second charge of witness tampering after lawyers argued over language in the charging affidavit.

Jones was originally charged with resisting arrest; however, a month after his arrest, the state amended the charges to obstructing an officer without violence – a first-degree misdemeanor. The witness tampering charges were added at that time.

By lunch, prosecuting attorneys Ben Rich and Jason Lewis and defense attorneys Patrick Canan and Andrew Morgan had their chance to question thirteen potential jurors then were able to select a final jury of five white men and two white women to hear the case.

During the lunch break, Jones left the courtroom to participate with members of the federal 450th commemoration commission and other city officials in a photo opportunity at the Spanish Constitution monument in the Plaza.

The trial began at 1:30 and testimony continued until 4:30 p.m.

Judge Charles Tinlin will reconvene the trial at 9:00 a.m. and has suggested that it is his intention to wrap up by 5:00 p.m. Tuesday.

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