081118_nws_shooting 4

Joseph 'JoJo' Jones, 37, was shot at 8:15 p.m. Aug. 9 in the parking lot of Lakeside Middle School as athletes, coaches and parents were leaving after a Millville Midget League practice. Jones’ 7-year-old son, an athlete on the team, was at the practice where his father was killed.

BRIDGETON — Frustrated, angry supporters of Millville Midget Football League coach Joseph “JoJo” Jones left the courtroom Tuesday after a Superior Court Judge decided that two people charged in his August murder would be released from pretrial detention.

Jones, 37, was shot at 8:15 p.m. Aug. 9 in the parking lot of Lakeside Middle School as athletes, coaches and parents were leaving after a league practice. Jones’ 7-year-old son, an athlete on the team, was at the practice where his father was killed.

Genea Hughes-Lee, 34, of Malaga, Gloucester County, and Tyrell Hart, 22, of Vineland, who are charged with conspiracy to hinder apprehension, hindering apprehension, obstruction and two counts of making false reports to law enforcement, were ordered released from jail by Judge Michael J. Silvanio.

While two others charged with homicide and conspiracy to commit homicide in the fatal shooting — Will El-Bey, 22, of Vineland, and Eugene Cosby, 42, of Malaga — were also scheduled for detention hearings Tuesday morning, both were adjourned until Friday.

Lawyers for both Hughes-Lee and Hart argued their low scores on the court’s public safety assessment would recommend they be released due to their limited criminal history.

Hart’s lawyer, Andrew Duclair, argued Hart has no criminal history, and that he “is a good kid that allegedly made a bad mistake.”

Emily Bell, Hughes-Lee’s attorney, said her client “ultimately cooperated with the police fully,” including providing information that led to the recovery of one of the alleged murder weapons.

With their release, Silvanio denied Assistant Prosecutor Charles Wettstein’s application for pretrial detention.

Several of Jones’ supporters got up and left the courtroom after Silvanio’s decision, but came back in shortly after.

Hart and Hughes-Lee were both released on the highest level of monitoring, which mandates that they report to the court each week. They were also ordered not to contact any of their co-defendants.

One of Jones’ family members, who asked not to be identified, stood with the group of over a dozen friends and family members outside the courtroom after the hearings concluded. Several of them wore shirts with pictures of Jones on them.

“He doesn’t get to come home to his kids,” she said, adding that in addition to his son, Jones has two daughters. “It’s not fair.”

Hughes-Lee and Hart are slated for a pre-indictment conference Dec. 6 before Judge Cristen P. D’Arrigo.

Contact: 609-272-7241 Mbilinski@pressofac.com Twitter @ACPressMollyB

Staff Writer

My beat is public safety, following police and crime. I started in January 2018 here at the Press covering Egg Harbor and Galloway townships. Before that, I worked at the Reading Eagle in Reading, Pa., covering crime and writing obituaries.

Download The Press of Atlantic City App

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.

PLEASE BE ADVISED: Soon we will no longer integrate with Facebook for story comments. The commenting option is not going away, however, readers will need to register for a FREE site account to continue sharing their thoughts and feedback on stories. If you already have an account (i.e. current subscribers, posting in obituary guestbooks, for submitting community events), you may use that login, otherwise, you will be prompted to create a new account.

Load comments