Bucks County prosecutors will seek the death penalty for Miles K. Jones, a North Philadelphia man accused of killing two Philadelphia men during an argument at a family reunion at a campground last fall.
Jones, 41, is charged with two counts of criminal homicide, possessing a gun without a license, possessing an instrument of crime, and 13 counts of reckless endangerment. It was his first arrest, according to investigators.
Deputy District Attorney Edward Louka said Friday during Jones’ arraignment in County Court that his office would seek the death penalty. Jones entered a not-guilty plea.
Louka said the death penalty was appropriate because of the circumstances of the shooting, which took place as 15 family members and friends gathered for a reunion at a rural campground in the northern part of the county.
“He could’ve killed more people,” Louka said. “He basically was firing indiscriminately after firing the first time. More people could’ve easily been hurt.”
Investigators said Jones shot Eric Braxton, 41, in the chest after Braxton tried to stop him from returning to the campsite after an argument with his girlfriend, with whom he was sharing a tent. He then allegedly shot Arthur Hill, 46, in the back as he tried to flee the chaos with his son.
Jones’ attorney, Kenneth Hone, has said Jones fired in self-defense after being punched by one of Hill’s sons when they went to break up the fight between Jones and his girlfriend.
But Louka has disputed that, saying that Jones acted with “murder on his mind” that night.
After the initial confrontation with Hill and his sons, Jones went back to his car, telling the group, “This isn’t over. Nobody’s safe,” according to the affidavit of probable cause for his arrest. He later returned with a 9mm handgun and opened fire, then remained at the campground until police arrived.
Jones’ trial is tentatively scheduled for June.