OAKLAND -- A 25-year-old man suing Oakland for $10 million after a police officer shot him in the back while he tried to escape a robbery was sent to prison for 15 years Thursday.
Tony Ray Jones showed no remorse as Alameda County Superior Court Judge Joan Cartwright sent him to prison for robbing a man with a gun last year.
"You showed a complete lack of respect for the court, for women and for the community," Cartwright told Jones. "There is no reason for you to be out there robbing people. I hope there is another side of you that we haven't seen."
In January, a jury found Jones guilty of second-degree robbery, using a gun during a robbery and being a felon in possession of a gun after a trial that included an identification of Jones by the robbery victim.
That trial also included frequent outbursts by Jones as he made disparaging remarks to the prosecutor, judge and bailiffs anytime the jury was not present in the courtroom.
According to evidence presented at the trial, Jones robbed a man at gunpoint in front of a liquor store near the corner of Foothill Boulevard and Cole Street on Feb. 19, 2012.
After taking $40 from the man, Jones and another man, who was never found, jumped into a white van that happened to be idling near the front of the liquor store.
The owner of the van and the driver testified during the trial that they had no idea a robbery had occurred and initially believed they were being carjacked until Jones took off a mask he was wearing, and they recognized him from the neighborhood. Jones told the pair he needed a ride and they agreed.
At the same time, Oakland police officer Cesar Garcia was on a routine patrol when he saw Jones and the other man jump into the van. Suspecting a crime might have occurred, Garcia followed the van and then tried to conduct a traffic stop after the van rolled through a stop sign.
Soon after turning on his lights and siren, evidence in the case revealed, Garcia saw Jones jump out of the moving van with a gun in his hand. Garcia gave chase and shot Jones in the back when it appeared that Jones was turning around with the gun in his hand, evidence revealed.
Jones, however, had dropped the gun before he was shot and is now suing Oakland for $10 million claiming his civil rights were violated. Jones' gun was found close to where he was shot.
Jones' attorney, Waukeen McCoy, said Thursday that the lawsuit against the city is still pending and continued to insist that his client was innocent.
McCoy said his client was denied a fair trial because Cartwright allowed jurors to learn about a robbery Jones committed when he was 14 years old.
But Cartwright said that the past crime was similar enough to the current crime to have relevance to a jury.
Deputy district attorney Allyson Donovan also said that Jones received a fair trial and pointed out actions Jones took during and after the trial that continue to prove his guilt.
One of those included a letter Jones wrote to a friend from jail that was confiscated before it was sent. In the letter, Donovan said, Jones wrote the names and addresses of witnesses from the trial and asked a friend to take care of them.
"He is an absolute menace to society," Donovan said. "Justice has been served."
Jones is a cousin of Oscar Grant III, whose¿ killing at the hands of a BART police officer on New Year's Day 2009 became a rallying cry for a community upset with police brutality. Jones and Grant have never met.