Defendant gets theatrical during drug-case retrial

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Local,DC,Crime,Naomi Jagoda

The former D.C. nightclub owner at the center of a U.S. Supreme Court decision about GPS tracking by law enforcement ripped up a copy of his indictment during his drug-conspiracy retrial Monday in D.C. federal court.

Antoine Jones is representing himself in D.C. federal court and said in his opening statement that "an indictment is nothing but a formal charge" before ripping the court document.

Prosecutors contend that Jones was involved in a conspiracy to distribute hundreds of pounds of cocaine that reached the D.C. area from Mexico. But Jones stressed to the jurors that they had to acquit him if they had doubts about his guilt.

At a previous trial in this case, Jones was convicted and sentenced to life in prison. However, an appeals court overturned his conviction in 2010, and the Supreme Court ruled that police violated Jones' Fourth Amendment rights when they tracked him with a GPS device that had been installed on his Jeep without a valid warrant.

njagoda@washingtonexaminer.com

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