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Takiya Holmes Murder Suspect Beaten At Courthouse, Video Shows

By DNAinfo Staff | February 16, 2017 8:59pm

CHICAGO — A newly released video shows an accused murderer using a few seconds when he was unrestrained at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse to pummel the 19-year-old man arrested in the shooting death of 11-year-old Takiya Holmes.

Antwan Jones was sitting in a chair at the Cook County courthouse, apparently sleeping while awaiting his bond hearing Wednesday.

That's when Renard Williams, 24, approaches from his own court hearing and slugs Jones in the jaw. He then unleashes several more blows before he's restrained. He had been removed from restraints for his hearing, and not been rehandcuffed.

There's no known connection between Williams and Jones or Jones' alleged gang. Nor is it known if Williams has any connection with Takiya's family, officials said.

"We have no evidence he knew who he was," said Cara Smith, chief policy officer for Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart, who runs the jail. "We don't know one way or the other."

Jones refused to press charges. He was awaiting his bond hearing in the slaying of Takiya, which authorities said happened Saturday when Jones fired at rival gang members amid a drug dispute but missed, hitting the cousin of anti-violence activist Andrew Holmes in her head. She died Tuesday.

Williams was coming from a status hearing on his own murder charge, a case stemming from a 2016 killing, Smith said. 

After being beaten, Jones was denied bail at his brief bond hearing.

Antwan Jones, 19, is charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of 11-year-old Takiya Holmes. She was shot Saturday night and died Tuesday.

Takiya was sitting in her family's minivan next to her 3-year-old brother about 7:50 p.m. Saturday when a bullet sailed through the window and struck her in her right temple, Assistant State's Attorney Jamie Santini said during Jones' bond hearing.

RELATED: 'Everybody Loved' Takiya Holmes, 11-Year-Old Killed By Stray Bullet

Moments before Takiya was shot, Jones and several Black Disciples gang members had walked through the Parkway Garden apartment complex to confront several people they believed were selling marijuana in an area their gang had claimed as their drug-selling territory near 65th Street and King Drive, prosecutors said.

Jones was armed with a semi-automatic gun when he began firing toward the drug rivals, Santini said. He failed to strike the rivals —  and instead shot Takiya in her head as she sat with relatives in her family's minivan outside a nearby dry cleaners, prosecutors said.

She was rushed to Comer Children's Hospital, where she fell into a coma before dying days later, officials said.

Police at the scene of the shooting recovered 12 shell casings, prosecutors said.

Police said Jones has been arrested 10 times before, including for several violent crimes. He was arrested seven times as a juvenile and three times as an adult, including a federal charge of aggravated assault.

Jones was convicted as a juvenile for theft in 2013 and sentenced to probation, which he violated five times, police said. He also has been arrested for domestic battery and reckless conduct.

After court Wednesday, Holmes said the girl's organs were being donated so that "her life can live on with somebody else."

RELATED: Girls, Ages 11 and 12, Shot In Head In Separate Attacks Saturday

Takiya's family had urged people in the community to come forward with any information that could lead to an arrest. They held a vigil Tuesday night with officers from the Grand Crossing Police District.

Jones turned himself in to police late Tuesday night, officers said at a news conference Wednesday morning at Chicago Police Headquarters, 3510 S. Michigan Ave.

“We encouraged [community members] to reach out to the Chicago Police Department and give the Chicago Police Department the information they need to make an arrest," Holmes said. "They were totally upset with what was happening over there."

Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson credited that effort with Jones' surrender to police.

“Police officers very seldom witness a crime," Johnson said. "We need the community to help us, and this case they stepped up. If you see someone commit a crime like this in your community and you don’t say anything, what you’re doing is giving that person a pass, and you’re telling them, ‘Keep going.’”

Supporters of Holmes' family had offered a $3,000 reward for information leading to an arrest, but Holmes said the money didn't make a difference in this case.

“Everyone we talked to, it wasn’t about the money, it was just about bringing a person to justice,” Holmes said. “Our message now is to help those who are behind him that are doing the same thing and to help them not do it.”

Police said there are no other people being sought in connection to the shooting death of Takiya. 

The gun Jones allegedly used in the shooting has not been found, police said.