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Judge rules against loosening house arrest restrictions on ex-police officer in shooting case

Marc Freeman, Sun Sentinel on

Published in News & Features

The judge also set more ground rules Friday for the expected two to three week trial. This includes preventing the prosecution and the defense from calling expert witnesses in the areas of police practices and police use of force.

Marx said he's lost sleep over these issues and finally decided the trial must focus on the facts of the case and not outside opinions about police work.

The judge said he's intent on holding a fair trial, which includes giving the Jones and Raja families an equal number of seats in the courtroom. Marx announced that Court TV will broadcast every day of the trial and it will be streamed online for those who can't attend.

The shooting happened at 3:15 a.m. Oct. 18, 2015, beside an Interstate 95 off-ramp, after Raja had driven an unmarked van up to Jones' broken down SUV. Within seconds, the plainclothes officer fired six shots from his personal handgun, hitting Jones three times.

Raja had been working a car burglary patrol in the area that night. Jones, a drummer for a reggae band, was in need of roadside assistance after a gig.

Raja claims the shooting was justified because he identified himself as a cop and found himself threatened at gunpoint.


But prosecutors contend that Raja lied about what happened, in his 911 call and in his statements to investigators about four hours after the shooting.

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