Family watches as brother accused of triple murder makes first appearance

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News 12 at 11 o'clock / Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Ryan Jones (WRDW-TV)
Ryan Jones (WRDW-TV)

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- A man accused of murdering his mother, father and younger brother and then dumping their bodies and setting them on fire made his first appearance in court Tuesday.

With shackles clanking, Ryan Jones entered the courtroom, taking a quick look at his family and friends before sitting in front of a judge.

"I have three charges against you Mr. Jones, brought by the state, three charges of murder," said Judge Stephen Shepard.

It was Ryan's first appearance after being arrested Thursday for the deaths of his mother, father and younger brother.

"You at that date in time unlawfully caused the death of another human being and you did so unlawfully with malice or forethought," read the judge.

The judge read each count for the deaths of Edna, Roosevelt and Russell Jones, stating that each was shot in the head by a .357 revolver.

"It's alleged that that victim was your brother and you shared the same residence," stated the judge.

In the end, the judge could not set bond, saying that will be up to a superior court and asked Ryan if he had any questions.

As Ryan walked out, his family left as well some in tears, still trying to comprehend all that has happened.

Russell's friends are trying to do the same.

"I understand what happened, I just can't believe it happened," said Russell's high school classmate Dorian Kendall.

Kendall and BreAsia Burns went to school with Russell or Rujo, as they call him. They say he was the class clown, always making everyone smile.

"Just his presence will make you laugh or smile," Burns said.

They're tired of losing friends to violence.

"I think the word to describe the violence in Augusta is senseless," Kendall said.

So they're planning an event tomorrow night to remember Rujo and also to send a message.

"It's ridiculous. It's getting out of hand; I want people to understand that we're killing each other," Kendall said.

The vigil will be Wednesday at 8 p.m. at the Riverwalk Amphitheater. It is being held by Hephzibah High School's class of 2011. They say it's not just for the Jones family, but for anyone who's lost a loved one to senseless violence. Everyone is welcome to attend.

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