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Published: Wednesday, 12/3/2008

Witnesses say suspect boasted of fatal Toledo shooting

BY ERICA BLAKE
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Within hours of the shooting death of David Babcock on darkened Western Avenue early on July 15, two men who didn't know one another each said they overheard Dounche Jones admit to the act.

During the second day of testimony in the murder trial of Jones in Lucas County Common Pleas Court, two witnesses told jurors they heard Jones say he was trying to rob a man riding a bicycle, and when the man struggled, he shot him in the face.

Mr. Babcock, 43, was killed by a single 40-caliber bullet that severed an artery in his neck. He was on Western Avenue 2.8 miles from his home about 6 a.m.

Jones "was showing [another man] how he shot a guy who was on his knees through the mouth who he was trying to rob," a 35-year-old man testified about what he saw and overheard at a bar about a day after the shooting.

Defense attorney Paul Geller questioned the witnesses about the information they said they overheard, including whether they knew details of the case because they overheard who they thought was Jones or because the murder became the talk of the neighborhood.

Both men said they were aware people were discussing the case, but their knowledge of what happened came from Jones' own words.

Jones, 20, of 235 Western Ave., faces up to life in prison if convicted of murder. A jury of nine women and three men is expected to hear the last of the testimony today.

Science experts and crime scene analysts testified yesterday about evidence collected at the scene.

Also introduced as evidence were live 40-caliber bullets that had not been fired from a gun. The bullets were found at two crime scenes within days of one another, including one found near Mr. Babcock's body.

When analyzed for DNA, the round found at the murder scene contained no distinguishable profiles.

But a DNA expert testified that the round found at a shooting July 11 at 1943 Airport Hwy. did match Jones' DNA.

Closing arguments are expected today in the trial with Judge James Jensen presiding.



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