A cousin of Oscar Grant III was sentenced today to 15 years and eight months in state prison after being convicted of robbery, using a firearm and being a felon in possession of a firearm for an incident in East Oakland last year. The incident happened on Feb. 19, 2012, when prosecutors alleged that 25-year-old Tony Jones and another man who was never arrested robbed a third man at gunpoint outside the Fairfax Liquor store at Foothill Boulevard and Cole Street.
Jones’ cousin Grant, a 22-year-old Hayward man, was shot and killed by former BART police Officer Johannes Mehserle at the Fruitvale BART station in Oakland early on Jan. 1, 2009. Mehserle, who claimed that he meant to use his Taser stun gun on Grant and fired his service weapon by mistake, was later charged with murder but was only convicted of the lesser charge of involuntary manslaughter. Jones was also injured by police gunfire, shortly after the February 2012 robbery. He was shot and wounded by Oakland police Officer Cesar Garcia in the 2000 block of 62nd Avenue at about 11:45 p.m. that night.
Jones has filed a $10 million civil rights lawsuit against Garcia and the city of Oakland alleging that they violated his constitutional protections against unlawful detention, unlawful arrest and the use of unreasonable force. The suit alleges that Garcia shot Jones in the back, and accuses the officer of assault and false imprisonment. His attorney, Waukeen McCoy said Jones is still suffering from the injuries he sustained in the shooting and is confined to a wheelchair. Oakland police said Garcia opened fire because Jones turned toward the officer while holding a handgun.
Jones’ lawsuit was put on hold pending the outcome of his criminal trial, which ended with jurors convicting him on Jan. 31. Jones faced a possible maximum sentence of 17 years and eight months in prison but Alameda County Superior Court Judge Joan Cartwright only sentenced him to three years for his robbery conviction instead of the five-year maximum. Cartwright also sentenced Jones to 10 years for using a firearm, two years for a prior robbery conviction and eight months for being an ex-felon in possession of a firearm.
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