FAIRFIELD — Defense lawyers for a Fairfield man accused of raping and strangling 13-year-old Genelle Conway-Allen spent two hours Friday haggling with a prosecutor, mostly over the word parsing and semantics of a legal brief filed by prosecutors five months ago.
Anthony L. Jones, 34, of Fairfield, faces a murder charge in a possible death penalty case. He was arrested a week after Conway-Allen’s nude body was found dumped in Allan Witt Park on the morning of Feb. 1, 2013. Since then Jones’ case has slogged through the court system with a date for a probable cause currently set for November.
Defense attorneys questioned prosecutors’ use of the word “demanded” in describing the way a friend of Conway-Allen’s saw Jones order her into his car. Conway-Allen, a foster child, had been walking home from Green Valley Middle School on the day she went missing in January 2013. Conway-Allen’s walking companion told investigators they were approached by a car driven by a man who pulled up near them and who ordered Conway-Allen to walk over to his car, in which he was alone. Conway-Allen “began trembling” as she went closer to the car before the man told her to get in, the friend told police.
Defense attorneys say that does add up to kidnapping as prosecutors claim. Defense attorneys also dispute whether Jones called out to groups of children or tried to catch the attention or hail a child passing by his car while he was being watched by undercover cops before his arrest.
The ongoing controversy over prosecutors withholding from defense attorneys details of a secret investigation and termination of the doctor who performed the autopsy on Conway-Allen was also a focus of the hearing. Defense lawyers continue to imply the decision to have a second doctor do a second autopsy on Conway-Allen was motivated by an effort to trump up evidence of sexual assault after the first doctor found no evidence of rape or sodomy.
Judge E. Bradley Nelson repeatedly parried defense efforts to bring two chief deputy district attorneys to court for questioning about the autopsies and some of the other evidence in the case.
Jones, who has pleaded not guilty, is scheduled to be back in court Aug. 22 when Nelson may schedule another hearing on a pending defense request to remove the District Attorney’s Office from the case.
District Attorney Donald A. du Bain has not said whether his office will seek the death penalty for Jones.
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