Opinion

Accused Bellevue Square shooter was a danger long before Munchbar murder | Reporter's Notebook

One of the most valued and worthwhile principles in the American justice system is the idea that we are all "innocent until proven guilty."

Though in the case of Ja'mari Alexander-Jones, I'm having a hard time applying it.

Jones is wanted by Bellevue police for his involvement in a shooting at Bellevue Square's Munchbar that left a Seattle man dead and another individual wounded in the early-morning hours of Dec. 24. He is perhaps better known for his role in the slaying of Ed McMichael, the "Tuba Man," in 2008.

McMichael was a fixture in the Seattle sports community for his exuberant tuba melodies in front of SafeCo and CenturyLink Field, and the Kingdome before that. He was beaten and left for dead by three teenagers, including Jones, to the dismay and outrage of the community.

According to records, Jones served less than a year in a juvenile facility after pleading guilty to manslaughter in the Tuba Man case.

Now, he's accused of killing again.

I don't know the sort of wrangling that went on behind closed doors with Jones and his co-defendants, including Billy Chambers (a man now facing a 10-year sentence in an unrelated case for being a felon in possession of a firearm).

But I know any deal that put him back on the streets so soon apparently was a bad one for the people of Seattle, Bellevue and King County. And displays a dizzying lack of common sense.

Hopefully, Jones will turn himself in and face the consequences of any actions he may have been involved in. And, if found guilty, here's to hoping that Jones receives a sentence that is reflective of the heinous and careless crime he is accused of.

And that a Munchbar patron from Seattle, a man with a tuba and their loved ones receive justice.

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