Verdict rendered in Thomas case

Published 3:00 am Wednesday, February 11, 2015

A jury took three hours on Tuesday to convict a Pike County man of manslaughter in the July 2012 stabbing death of Jacobi Jones.

Jones, an up-and-coming rap star in the Troy community, was performing at Club 29 on July 21, 2012, when Aquantis Thomas allegedly showed up at the club during Jones’ performance. After the performance, Thomas and Jones got into a physical altercation that resulted in Jones’ death.

The jury, made up of three black men, two black women, three white men and six white women, found Thomas not guilty on the charge of murder but found him guilty of the lesser-included charge of manslaughter.

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Following the reading of the verdict, Assistant District Attorney Jeff Moore requested that Thomas’ bond be revoked, citing that Thomas was a “flight risk.”

“The serious nature of the crime makes him a risk or threat to the community at large,” Moore said. “Now that the jury has found him guilty, we are asking that his bond be revoked.”

Defense attorney Brandon Coots responded said Thomas had previously served two years and three months in Pike County Jail and had no issues appearing at regularly scheduled court appointments or keeping in contact during the course of the trial. “He has stayed in constant contact with me,” Coots said. “I do not believe he is a flight risk.”

Coots did request a presentencing investigation, and Circuit Court Judge Shannon Clark chose to grant the presentencing investigation and revoked Thomas’ bond. “You will remain confined in the Pike County Jail until then,” she told Thomas.

Moore said the District Attorney’s Office was pleased with the jurors’ verdict.

“We are just thankful that the jury did find him guilty of the lesser included charge,” Moore said. “I think they made the right decision. I think the jury, which was made up of people from Pike County made a statement saying they are not going to stand for something like this happening in their community. We would also like to say thank you to the Troy Police Department for all their hard work during the investigation and for testifying in court.”

Moore also thanked the Pike County Sheriff’s Department after sheriff deputies assisted in clearing out the courtroom once Thomas’ verdict had been read.

“Based on the reaction form the family toward the end of the case, we’d like to thank the sheriff’s department for their security and help toward the end of the trial,” Moore said.

Thomas will have a sentencing hearing at 11 a.m. May 4 at the Pike County Courthouse.