SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A Sacramento Superior Court jury convicted a reputed white supremacist of first-degree murder Tuesday in the shooting death of an African American motorist two years ago on a Foothill Farms street.
Brian Keith Jones Jr., 25, did not appear in court as the verdict was read in his killing of Duane Lomax, who was fatally shot in the early morning of Dec. 8, 2012, on Predial Way. Judge Marjorie Koller said Jones “voluntarily absented himself.”
Koller scheduled Jones’ sentencing for April 15. He is facing a term of at least 50 years to life in prison in the first-degree murder conviction and his personal use of a firearm in killing Lomax.
Lomax, 36, of Atlanta, had called 911 to report that a woman with whom he had had an argument in a parking lot had pulled a gun on him. He began following her, which prompted a passenger in the woman’s car to call her brother – Jones.
The defendant then pulled his car into the street in front of Lomax’s vehicle. Jones got out and fired once at Lomax and then several more times after the man pulled a U-turn in an effort to escape, according to the prosecution’s theory of the case.
Jones testified he shot Lomax, but he said he did so in self-defense because he thought Lomax, when he was reversing his car, was going to run him over.
Deputy District Attorney Donell Slivka argued that Jones cut off Lomax’s car in anger after the defendant’s sister informed him that her vehicle was being followed by an African American driver.
Jones admitted on the witness stand that he still has a swastika and “White Power” tattooed on one of his legs, but he denied he still harbors racist feelings. He said he has since dropped out of the white supremacist Sacramaniac prison gang.
“Our family’s intent from the time that we learned of this tragic event was to get justice” for Lomax, said the slain man’s sister.
She did not want her name to be printed out of fear of Jones’ family and connections.
“He did nothing wrong,” she said of her brother. “He had a life. He was loved. And the only reason he was here was to celebrate his young son’s birthday.”
The jury received the case on Monday and returned its verdict in less than a day.