Home Crime First hearing held in Tacony murder-suicide case

First hearing held in Tacony murder-suicide case

A preliminary hearing for Damyrra Jones, charged with killing her husband and kids, was rescheduled pending a psychiatric exam.

By Tuesday, Oct. 15, a day after the shooting, a small memorial stood outside of the house on the 6300 block of Hegerman Street where Damyrra Jones and her daughters lived. TIMES FILE PHOTO

Family members of Damyrra Jones and Max Alcindor gathered Wednesday morning inside a courtroom for the first hearing in a case that shocked Northeast Philadelphia.

Jones, 28, is accused of fatally shooting Max, her husband, and her children, 4-year-old Maxillie and 10-month-old Damaya, inside the family’s home Oct. 14 on the 6300 block of Hegerman Street in Tacony.

Alcindor’s family was eager to face Jones, but, as is often the case, the first listing for her preliminary hearing was rescheduled. Jones, who is being held without bail on three murder charges, was not brought to the courthouse.

The defense team is waiting on a psychiatric evaluation.

“I just don’t want them to say that she’s crazy,” said Charlotte Gay, Alcindor’s sister, who traveled from Virginia for the hearing.

Alcindor’s family maintains that Jones lured him to the home with the intent of killing him and the kids. They had been separated, and he was living elsewhere at the time.

Jones’ sister, Eboni Ivey, said the public has to understand that Jones has mental illness. She said her family wants to advocate for the passage of a “red flag law” in Pennsylvania.

The measure, also called an Extreme Risk Protection Order, would allow law enforcement to take guns away from people if family members report them as a risk to themselves or others. It would also prevent the person subject to the order from buying a firearm.

In August, Gov. Tom Wolf called on the state legislature to pass a bill allowing for an ERPO. 

Police said Jones legally purchased a gun from a Wissinoming shop hours before the shooting inside her home. The law could have prevented the tragedy, Ivey said.

In the aftermath of the shooting, there was a dispute over how the girls’ funerals should be handled. 

Ultimately, it was decided that Maxillie and Damaya would have separate funerals with the Jones and Alcindor families. Gay said her family’s service was held on Saturday, Nov. 2, and Ivey said their funeral was earlier in the week.

“It’s very sad,” Gay said. “We had the kids in one casket.”

The next hearing in the case is scheduled for Jan. 8. ••

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