Portland park murder suspect pleads not guilty

Park murder suspect appears in court

PORTLAND, Ore. – The 18-year-old man suspected of shooting and killing a 17-year-old boy while robbing him at Holladay Park in Northeast Portland appeared in court Monday.

Kole Tabian Jones pleaded not guilty to murder, robbery and possessing a stolen car. His attorney entered the pleas.

Jones was driving in the area of 165th Avenue and East Burnside Street when he was stopped and arrested by Gresham police officers Thursday night, according to the Portland Police Bureau.

Police said detectives developed probable cause to arrest Jones for the murder. 

Court documents said that Jones was falling asleep while talking to officials, shortly after being charged.

Jones didn't speak in court Monday. The Gresham man had many family and friends in court to support him.

His brother told reporters off camera, he believes Tuesday's shooting was in self-defense.

Police identified the victim as Shawn Scott Jr. of Vancouver, Wash. Scott was a junior at Union High School, according to an Evergreen Schools spokesperson.

Police said there may be more suspects involved. Detectives are still looking for witnesses.

Investigators said Jones and Scott did not know each other. 

A second suspect was arrested Friday in the area of 164th Avenue and East Burnside Street. He was identified as 17-year-old Malique Kennerly-Hicks, of North Portland. He was lodged at the Multnomah County Donald E. Long Juvenile Detention Home on a charge of first-degree robbery.

More: Friends honor Vancouver teen killed at Portland park

The state medical examiner determined Scott died of a single gunshot wound.

The shooting occurred at about 4:30 p.m. Tuesday at the park across the street from the Lloyd Center Mall.

Scott's mother, Natasha Hunter, released the following statement on Friday:

"On behalf of myself and my family we would like to say thank you to everyone who has reached out to us and prayed for us. This has been the hardest three days of my entire life. I miss my son's voice and his trademark laugh and I will miss him even more in the days and years to come. I am so grateful for my son's angel, Dustin Gollyhorn, who was there to hold and comfort my son when I couldn't. My greatest gift through all of this, is knowing that my son  did not die alone. Dustin will forever hold a special place in our hearts. We would like to send a special Thank You to the detectives and the Portland Police Bureau , who have been doing an amazing job bringing my son Justice and holding everyone who was involved accountable for their actions and decisions."

© 2017 KGW-TV


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