Reputed Gang Member Pleads Not Guilty in Quadruple-Murder Case

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - A reputed gang member who was on the FBI's list of Ten Most Wanted fugitives pleaded not guilty today to murder charges stemming from his alleged involvement in a shootout that left four men dead in South Los Angeles last fall.

Marlon Jones, 41, is charged with four counts of murder for the Oct. 15 shooting deaths of Imran Townsend, 29; Carlton Rose, 51; and Mark Brooks and Robert Davis, both 54.

The murder charges include the special circumstance allegation of multiple murders, along with an allegation that Jones personally and intentionally discharged a handgun.

Prosecutors will decide later whether to seek the death penalty against Jones.

He is due back in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom April 27, when a date is scheduled to be set for a hearing to determine whether there is enough evidence to require him to stand trial.

Jones was arrested Dec. 2 in South Los Angeles after a chase on the Harbor (110) Freeway.

He allegedly attended an Oct. 15 birthday party at a home that had been temporarily converted into a restaurant in the 2900 block of Rimpau Ave. and shot a rival gang member, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office.

More gunfire was exchanged between the two groups, resulting in the deaths of three other men and 10 other people being wounded, officials said.

About 50 people were at the party, which was being held at a home that had been temporarily converted into a restaurant, according to detectives.

Jones, who has a violent criminal history, is believed to be a member of an East Coast Jamaican criminal group involved in the illegal distribution of marijuana and might have been in Los Angeles to settle a disagreement with the rival gang, the FBI reported.

Jones was believed to be living in the United States illegally.

The Los Angeles Police Department obtained an arrest warrant Oct. 21 for Jones after he was charged with the killings, and a federal arrest warrant was issued Oct. 31 after he was charged in a criminal complaint with unlawful flight to avoid prosecution.

Jones was thought to have fled the state immediately after the shootings.

Los Angeles County officials requested the FBI's assistance in apprehending and returning him to Los Angeles to face prosecution.

Widespread publicity about Jones after he was added to the Ten Most Wanted list generated a tip that led to his arrest, FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said at the time.

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