NAU shooting suspect released until trial

Posted at 4:19 AM, Apr 12, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-12 20:34:52-04

A judge has ordered modified release for Northern Arizona University shooting suspect Steven Jones.

Jones' parents previously said they would remove all guns from their home and relocate to Coconino County, if necessary, should a judge agree to release their son.

Jones will be allowed out of jail with GPS monitoring, Judge Dan Slayton said Tuesday.

Slayton had rejected a request in February to allow Jones to live with his parents in Maricopa County pending trial. But the judge left open the possibility of home confinement once he had more information on monitoring, access to weapons, potential searches of Jones' parents' home and counseling.

Jones maintains he acted in self-defense when he shot fellow student Colin Brough on the Flagstaff campus on Oct. 9, killing him. Three other students were wounded.

Jones was indicted on first-degree murder and six counts of aggravated assault about a month after the shooting.

His attorneys cited his lack of criminal history in asking Slayton to release him and said he had no desire to flee. A pre-trial services report found that Jones is at the lowest risk of re-offending.

The shooting victims -- Kyle Zientek, Nicholas Piring and Nicholas Prato -- and Brough's mother have asked Slayton to keep Jones behind bars. Prosecutors have said Jones was not justified in using lethal force in reaction to a largely verbal fight.

"There is no amount of supervision that the state feels will adequately safeguard the community," prosecutor Ammon Barker wrote in court documents.