CENTRALIA, IL — Opening arguments were given Tuesday in the murder trial of a 46-year-old Chicago man accused of the 2018 shooting death of a Centralia woman in her home.
Lorenzo Patton is charged with first-degree murder for allegedly shooting 44-year-old Precious Jones twice in the early morning hours of September 22, as she babysat two four-month-old infants.
According to testimony as the prosecution presented its case, one of the babies was in a bassinette near where Jones fell after being shot, while the other infant was lying on the couch in the living room of the Anderson Street home.
The prosecution said in its opening statement while he was being held in the Coles County Jail months after Jones’ death, Patton admitted to another inmate that he killed Jones and that the inmate knew details of the murder unknown to anyone but the killer and police.
Jones’ daughter testified Tuesday that she had left her mother’s house around midnight and returned a few hours later to find her mother dead. Additional testimony showed that a TV taken from the victim’s home the morning of her murder was seen in Patton’s possession shortly after her death. Another witness testified that he purchased a similar TV from Patton the day after the murder but later took the TV to a friend’s home after being told it came from a dead woman’s home.
In its opening statement, the defense admitted Patton was a drug dealer but did not kill Jones. They further argued that the inmate in the Coles County Jail was in custody on a charge for drug-induced homicide, as well as on a charge of delivery of heroin. The defense also claimed the inmate was angry with Patton for taking drug business away from her and that her story changed multiple times. The defense proposed instead that Jones was possibly murdered by her daughter’s boyfriend who reportedly told multiple people that he was the one who killed Jones.
The prosecution will continue its case Wednesday.