...Former Dodge City police officer Chris Tahah was convicted Thursday of killing his ex-girlfriend, Dodge City resident Erin Jones, nearly a year ago... Tahah, 34, faces life in prison on the murder charge and will not be eligible for parole for at least 20 years. He also faces 37 to 42 months in prison for criminal discharge of a firearm at an occupied dwelling... He has acknowledged being at Jones' home with a gun the morning she died but insisted that the gun went off as he was lowering it...
Updates - See In Comments Below Post:
- Tahah Gets Life Sentence For Murder - ...Tahah was sentenced to life in prison, with no possibility of parole for at least 20 years, for killing Jones on May 5, 2007... Tahah will also serve 102 months for criminal discharge of a firearm at an occupied dwelling. The sentences will run consecutively...
- Tahah Faces Wrongful Death Suit - One year after he was convicted of killing Erin Jones, a former Dodge City policeman is facing a wrongful-death lawsuit. Christopher Tahah is being sued for $75,000 by David Jones, the father of Erin Jones' children and the administrator of her estate...
Court hears testimony from friend who was last to see Jones alive
Dodge City Daily Globe
By Eric Swanson
Apr. 16, 2008
[Erin's friend Vanessa] Weber testified Tuesday during the trial of former Dodge City policeman Chris Tahah, who is accused of shooting and killing Jones on May 5, 2007. He and Jones had been dating, but she had broken off the relationship the month before she was killed. Tahah has been charged with first-degree felony murder and criminal discharge of a firearm at an occupied dwelling. He has acknowledged being at Jones' home with a gun the morning she died but insisted that the gun went off as he was lowering it... Weber said Jones had told her on April 17, 2007, that Tahah had shown up unexpectedly at her house four nights earlier, but Jones didn't want to talk about it although she did describe the incident as the scariest night of her life... [Full article here]
'I'm trying to tell the truth'
Tahah changes story, denies firing shot into victim's house
Dodge City Daily Globe
By Eric Swanson
Apr. 17, 2008
Former Dodge City police officer Chris Tahah testified Wednesday that he had not been in his ex-girlfriend's back yard the morning she died and had not fired a shot into her house. Tahah is charged with first-degree felony murder and criminal discharge of a weapon at an occupied dwelling in the May 5, 2007, death of Dodge City resident Erin Jones. The trial began Monday and will likely wrap up today. Six days after Jones was killed, Tahah told a Kansas Bureau of Investigation agent that he had been in Jones' back yard early that morning and was carrying a rifle. He said then that he planned to break into the house with the rifle to scare her, then decided that was a bad idea and started to leave. He also said he later went back to the house and pointed the gun at Jones' bedroom window, telling himself that it was no good. He said as he lowered the rifle, it went off... Tahah's account of events during the May 11 interview did not match the story he told Wednesday... Tahah said he was shocked and hurt when Jones broke off their relationship shortly after Easter 2007. Then on April 29, they had a brief conversation in which she said she had thought about resuming the relationship on a less serious basis. On May 4, Tahah went to the Central Station nightclub with friends and saw Jones dancing with another man, identified only as "Jason." The sight upset him, so he and his friends left the club and went to another bar. He said his friends kept asking how he felt, which upset him, and he couldn't get Jones out of his mind... Tahah said he left the bar and went home, then decided to drive to Jones' house to see if "Jason" was spending the night with her. He saw a car belonging to another friend of Jones in front of her house, so he drove away. He said he drove out to the scenic overlook near the Dodge City Regional Airport to watch a lightning storm, fell asleep and didn't wake up until about 3:35 a.m. After waking, Tahah said he drove by Jones' house again and saw that her friend had left, so he went back to his apartment. The next day, he learned that Jones was dead. "How did you react?" said Tahah's attorney, Peter Orsi. "I was shocked," Tahah replied. "I broke down and started crying"... Tahah said after another interview with KBI agents, he decided to leave town because he worried about failing a polygraph exam scheduled for the next day. He said he left for Colorado the next morning and spent three days there, thinking about his situation. He considered committing suicide but didn't follow through with it. He later decided to return to Kansas and explain himself to the KBI, but he didn't have enough fuel to make the trip. So he stole a Hummer from a Denver motel and started heading home, only to be arrested in eastern Colorado following a police chase. Tahah said after he was arrested and knew he was going to jail, he decided to take responsibility for Jones' death. Defense attorney Orsi asked Tahah, "What did you intend to accomplish by doing that?" Tahah said, "To give the family closure"... Ford County Attorney Sauer later asked Tahah if he had decided to take responsibility so he could give closure to Jones' family. Tahah said that was correct. Then Sauer said, "It's been nearly a year since Erin Jones' death. Are you trying to open it all back up again?" Tahah said, "No, sir. I'm trying to tell the truth"... [Full article here]
I'm Comin' , and Hell's Comin' with Me!!!"
Murder Trial - Convicted
Jury brings back guilty verdict against Tahah
By Eric Swanson
Dodge City Daily Globe
Apr. 18, 2008
Former Dodge City police officer Chris Tahah was convicted Thursday of killing his ex-girlfriend, Dodge City resident Erin Jones, nearly a year ago. After nearly 4 1/2 hours of deliberations, the jury found Tahah guilty of first-degree felony murder and criminal discharge of a firearm at an occupied dwelling. The verdict was announced to a courtroom filled with law enforcement officers, friends and relatives of Tahah and the victim, and other observers. District Judge Leigh Hood had previously warned them to observe professional decorum when the decision was handed down.... Assistant Ford County Attorney Natalie Randall, who spoke on behalf of Ford County Attorney John Sauer, said they were pleased with the verdict... Randall said Sauer wanted to thank law enforcement officers, his staff and the witnesses for their help with the case. But not everyone was pleased with the decision. "Obviously, the family's very disappointed," Tahah's attorney, Peter Orsi, said when a reporter asked him to comment on the verdict. Orsi said he would file an appeal but declined to comment further. Tahah, 34, faces life in prison on the murder charge and will not be eligible for parole for at least 20 years. He also faces 37 to 42 months in prison for criminal discharge of a firearm at an occupied dwelling. His sentencing hearing has not been scheduled yet. Randall said that Sauer will seek the maximum possible penalty and request consecutive sentences... Jones' older sister Theresa Crout, who drove out from Denver for the trial, said she was satisfied with the verdict. But she added that it will not bring her sister back. "It's a little step of closure, but the pain will always be there," Crout said. "I don't think that's ever going to go away"... [Full article here]
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