Watch CBS News

Felon Charged With Murdering Woman In Front Of Her Son In 2013

OAKLAND (CBS SF) -- A man who was convicted of attempted murder last month for shooting a man in San Leandro in June 2013 was charged with murder Wednesday for allegedly fatally shooting a woman in North Oakland two months earlier.

Leonard C. Jones, 33, who has a total of six prior felony convictions, is charged with murder and being a felon in possession of a firearm for allegedly fatally shooting 21-year-old Donitra Henderson in the 600 block of 54th Street as she sat in a parked car near the corner of 54th Street and Shattuck Avenue at about 8:45 p.m. on April 24, 2013, as her then 4-year-old son watched from the back seat.

The boy and another woman who was in the car weren't hurt. Oakland police Officer Phong Tran wrote in a probable cause statement that Jones was observed fleeing from the murder scene in a vehicle and witness statements and physical evidence indicate that he's the person who fatally shot Henderson.

Tran said Henderson "was possibly in a sexual relationship with the suspect (Jones) and also may have been working as a prostitute for the suspect at the time."

Henderson's family made an emotional appeal for an arrest in the case at a news conference at Oakland police headquarters last Nov. 5.

Henderson's mother, Anitra Bishop, said Henderson "was a good person who wasn't into any kind of trouble so that makes this all the more tragic because she didn't deserve to die."

Bishop said Henderson graduated from Oakland Technical High School, attended Laney College in Oakland and loved working with children.

Read Also: Woman Shot Dead In Front Of Son Identified As Laney College Student

Lt. Roland Holmgren said investigators were troubled by the manner of Henderson's death, saying, "It kills me to read the boy's statement that a bad man killed his mom in front of his face."

Jones was arraigned on the murder charge in Alameda County Superior Court in Oakland Wednesday afternoon.

Jones has been in custody since August 2013, when he was arrested and charged for shooting a man who was dropping off a woman at her apartment complex in San Leandro the night of June 16, 2013.

Prosecutors said the man had three other people in the car when he dropped the woman off and Jones began following the woman, with whom he was trying to start a relationship.

The man drove back to make sure the woman was all right but after the woman went inside her apartment Jones approached the man's car, pulled out a black semi-automatic firearm and ordered the man and his passengers to
leave, according to prosecutors.

The man began to back his car out the apartment's parking lot but Jones opened fire in rapid succession and hit the man twice, once in the left ankle and once in the left arm, prosecutors said. None of the other passengers were hurt.

Jones was convicted last month of attempted murder, assault with a semi-automatic gun, discharging a gun at an occupied vehicle and being a felon in possession of a gun. He is tentatively scheduled to be sentenced in May but he'll have a hearing next week on a motion by his attorney to withdraw from his case, according to court records.

In addition to the attempted murder case, prosecutors allege that Jones has five other prior felony convictions between October 2002 and February 2004.

The first four were in San Francisco for drugs, domestic violence, criminal threats and assault with a deadly weapon. Jones also was convicted of carjacking in Alameda County in February 2004.

Although Oakland police asked for the public's help in finding the suspect who killed Henderson they refused Wednesday to release any information about Jones' arrest for her murder.

TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Bay City News Service contributed to this report.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.