A Jefferson County jury on Thursday night convicted Ja’Monte Washington of first-degree murder stemming from a shooting death in 2000.
Circuit Judge Rob Wyatt sentenced Washington to 30-years in prison and he will receive credit for the time he has spent in jail awaiting trial.
Washington, 30, was originally charged with capital murder in the death of Jyrimee Thompson, who was found in the driver’s seat of a white Nissan on the parking lot of Village Green Apartments at 4321 S. Olive St., on May 20th,
Later that day, detectives went to Jefferson Regional Hospital where they found Washington who said he had been shot while walking to his brother’s apartment at 1100 E. 38th Ave. He said he did not see who shot him and flagged down a motorist who took him to the hospital.
Police were unable to locate a crime scene where Washington said he had been shot.
Detective Tamina Smith reported that video footage from the apartments showed Thompson pull up in a vehicle and two males ran up and started shooting at him. He returned fire, possibly hitting one of the suspects.
Fresh and wet blood stains were found at the scene and evidence was collected, including leaves about 50 feet west of Thompson’s body. That evidence was sent to the crime lab along with Washington’s DNA and on June 24, the crime lab verified that the blood on the leaves at the scene was a positive match for Washington.
When he was questioned, Washington denied being at the apartments and could not explain why his blood was found at the scene.
Deputy Prosecutor Maxie Kizer represented the state and Pine Bluff attorney William Howard represented Washington during the two-day trial.