Follow CBSPHILLY Facebook | Twitter
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A judge has reduced murder charges against former Philadelphia Police Officer Ryan Pownall in connection to to a deadly confrontation with 30-year-old David Jones in June 2017.
During a motions hearing Thursday morning, the judge reduced the first-degree charge to third-degree. The judge also granted Pownall $500,000 bail.
On June 8, 2017, Pownall stopped Jones for illegally riding a dirt bike near the 4200 block of Whitaker Avenue. A struggle ensued as the officer felt a gun in Jones’ waistband, then Jones reportedly resisted and started running.
Pownall’s gun jammed during his first attempt to fire, a shot that was reasonable, police say, but surveillance video shows the second round hit Jones from 10 feet away. The third hit him in the back from 35 feet away.
Pownall was denied bail during his preliminary hearing last month.
Jones’ family believes today’s hearing was not a complete victory for the officer.
“No mater what the charges are, he was guilty and we know that once it goes to trial, no matter what happens between now and then, he will be found guilty,” said Donna Clement-Jackson, Jones’ godmother.
They have been fighting for this case to skip a preliminary hearing phase and go straight to trial. The judge sided with them and the prosecution, saying there was enough evidence in the grand jury investigation for that.
“We will now present this case for trial. We look forward to present this case to a fair-minded jury and we are satisfied when we do that,” said Fortunato Perri, Pownall’s attorney. “When we have that opportunity, a jury will find Pownall was justified in his actions.”
Pownall is the first Philadelphia police officer in nearly 20 years to face charges over an on-duty shooting.