YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – A 19-year-old man pleaded guilty Thursday in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court to charges that he accidentally shot his twin brother.
Jalachi Jones was sentenced by Judge Anthony Donofrio to five years probation after pleading guilty to a charge of reckless homicide, a third-degree felony, for the Dec. 27 death of his brother, Malachi Jones, in a home on Beechwood Road on the far East Side.
Police said the brothers were playing with a gun when it went off, killing Malachi Jones.
“There’s nothing I can do to you that will equal the pain and suffering you will suffer for the rest of your life for killing your brother,” Judge Donofrio said.
Assistant Prosecutor Kevin Trapp said the moral of the case is to be careful with guns.
“People should not play with guns at all,” Trapp said. “They are not toys.”
Because of his plea, Jones is not allowed to have or be around guns.
Susan Ford, who was the legal guardian of the twins before they turned 18, said the death of Malachi is still unreal.
“I’m still not — I can’t accept it that Malachi’s gone,” Ford said. “Malachi’s gone. I don’t want to lose him [Jalachi].”
Defense attorney Kevin Daley said a friend of Malachi’s gave him a gun, and the brothers were handling it when Jalachi handed it to his brother and the gun went off, killing him.
“I’m sorry that this happened to my family. I’m sorry I’m the cause of all this,” he said.
Jalachi, who has been in counseling, said he was very close to his brother and they had plans for their future.
“Malachi was my best friend,” he said.