ATLANTA — Jordyn Jones, the friend and roommate of Alexis Crawford charged with helping strangle her to death, was accused in a bond hearing on Thursday by Fulton County prosecutors of calling Crawford's family to conceal key details about a rape accusation against her then-boyfriend Barron Brantley that allegedly happened days before the murder.
A judge denied Jones bond, in part basing that decision on the possibility that Jones "may in fact have engaged in the ultimate intimidation of witnesses."
Crawford, a 21-year-old Clark Atlanta University student, was reported missing by her family Nov. 1 after they said they had not heard from her for several days. She was found dead in a DeKalb County park a week later.
Jones and Brantley are both charged with malice murder in the death of Alexis Crawford.
Police reports indicate Crawford was strangled and smothered to death following a physical altercation with Jones, her close friend and roommate. A report by the Homicide Unit specifically alleges that 21-year-old Brantley got involved with the fight and choked Crawford to death with his hands. The warrant for Jones alleges she "did smother the victim, Alexis Crawford, with a black trash bag until Crawford stopped breathing and was deceased."
In the bond hearing on Thursday, prosecutors accused Jones of taking steps in the days after the murder to cover her tracks.
"On her own volition the defendant Ms. Jones called family members of Ms. Crawford and told them that there was no DNA found in the rape kit," the prosecutor said.
"Well that is incredibly incorrect, the results of the rape kit indicate" that Brantley's DNA was found, the prosecutor said.
The prosecution contended that already represents a level of witness intimidation, given that "there are many of the witnesses in this case will be family members of Ms. Crawford as they were the last people that she spoke to."
Jones' defense lawyer did not directly address that accusation, but said she was "supportive following the allegation of rape" and "accompanied her roommate at the time and spent however much time was necessary for her to be at Grady as she went through the rape kit scenario."
The prosecution also argued that Jones presented a flight risk - most of her family lives in Michigan and, prosecutors said, after the murder and before she would have been publicly known as a suspect, she had begun withdrawing from Clark Atlanta and was planning on moving back to her home state.
Her defense attorney directly rejected that claim, saying her family had not begun withdrawing her from school until the last 48 hours.
The judge ruled that while "Ms. Jones would appear to be an appropriate candidate for bond" she was denying it because she had been persuaded Jones might "not return to the jurisdiction for trial in this matter and that she may pose a significant risk of intimidating witnesses or obstructing the administration of this case."