RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — On Friday morning the suspect accused of killing a teen girl in August 2020 agreed to a plea deal, the victim’s father told CBS 17.
The suspect, Devin Cordell Jones, who was 17 years old at the time of the murder, pleaded guilty in court in his sentencing hearing early Friday afternoon.
A CBS 17 crew at the hearing on Friday confirmed Jones’ guilty plea deal has landed him a minimum time in prison of 18 years with a maximum of just over 22 years.
Police say the murder took place at about 8:20 p.m. on August 15, 2020 when 17-year-old Veronica Baker was shot and killed in the parking lot of the Bojangles’ at 3920 Jones Sausage Road near Garner.
They arrested Jones on August 19 and charged him with Baker’s murder.
In court, it was presented that Jones had admitted to detectives that he killed Veronica that night. According to the prosecutor, Jones was there to meet her to purchase marijuana and had the gun with him.
The prosecutor continued to say Jones had told detectives there was a struggle over the gun and it subsequently went off in the attempts of a robbery. Veronica was shot in the chest, the autopsy confirmed.
When discussing evidence, one shell casing was said to be located in the vehicle and use of surveillance footage and conversations on social media between Veronica and Jones helped detectives match Jones to the crime.
Jones was present in the courtroom with his lawyers speaking on his behalf. The judge did ask if he had anything to say, to which he replied “no.”
Baker’s parents were also in the courtroom and read a statement together.
“The first day I saw my daughter was for my birthday. We buried her the day after my birthday. It still seemed like a dream until the headstone was placed. I’ll never celebrate my birthday again,” said Jim Baker, Veronica’s dad.
Baker’s parents told CBS 17 she was supposed to start school just a few days after she was killed.
“I promised her in the casket…that I would get justice for her, and I feel like I did to some extent but not to the full extent that I wanted. I just hope she’s happy with what I did,” said Jim Baker.
“I’m okay with the way things went. I’m okay with it. We’ll never have our daughter back, but we can keep her memory alive,” said Laura Baker, Veronica’s mother.
The plea deal Jones agreed to lists a minimum 216 months and maximum 272 months to be served in prison, in addition to the following conditions:
- Jones will receive 628 days credit for incarceration
- Jones must not have any contact with the Baker family—directly or indirectly
- In his first five years in jail, the court recommends that Jones not have opportunity to do any vocational or educational programs
- If Jones tests positive for an illegal substance, he will be arrested and given a $250,000 secure bond
- If he violates any of the terms he shall be re-arrested and give $250,000 secure bond
- Jones can’t have any contact with the co-defendants
Jones’ three co-defendants were arrested on August 18, the day before Jones was. These individuals were identified as Keyshara Michelle Deans, 19, Nezyiha Zamir Collins, 19, and Tyreek Qumay Rodgers, 18, who were charged with accessory after the fact to murder.
These three have yet to go to trial.
A memorial now rests where Baker was found.
She was a graduate of Garner Magnet High School and was supposed to start at Wake Tech the day after she was killed, according to her father, Jim Baker.