Kalamazoo County jury acquits former WMU hoops player of murder
KALAMAZOO, Mich. — A Kalamazoo County Circuit Court jury has acquitted a former Western Michigan University basketball player of felony murder in a December 2016 shooting death. Another man, Jordan Waire, was convicted last month in connection with the drug-related killing of 19-year-old Jacob Jones.
The Circuit Court clerk’s office tells FOX 17 Joeviair Kennedy also was acquitted late Thursday afternoon on one of two weapons offenses: felony firearm. However, the court says the jury convicted Kennedy of another felony-firearm count, plus an armed-robbery count.
Police said Jones was gunned down in his apartment near the WMU campus on December 8, 2016. Kennedy, 21, testified at his preliminary exam that it was Waire, of Muskegon, who pulled the trigger. Kennedy reportedly testified that some marijuana and a small amount of money was taken during the crime. He also told detectives during a taped interview that, before the crime occured, Waire had bought some ammunition.
Investigators had identified Kennedy as an accomplice, saying the two broke into Jones’ unit in the SoHo Apartments complex. Detectives said Waire fatally shot Jones – a WMU student – moments later, and then stole the phones of other residents of the apartment.
A jury convicted Waire in May of felony murder, armed robbery and various felony-firearms charges.