SANTA ANA, Calif. – A man was sentenced to 50 years to life in state prison today for the shooting murder of his friend as the victim sat in his car in Buena Park. Jonathan Peterson, 35, Buena Park, was found guilty by a jury Nov. 18, 2015, of one felony count of first degree murder, and a sentencing enhancement for the personal discharge of a firearm was found to be true. The court heard a bifurcated trial today and the defendant's prior prison convictions for possession of a controlled substance and being an active participant in a criminal street gang carrying a loaded firearm in public in 2004 in Orange County and domestic violence in 2010 in Los Angeles County were found to be true.
Co-defendant Jihad Qahir Nasir Jones, 31, Anaheim, pleaded guilty Nov. 17, 2015, to one felony count of being an accessory after the fact with sentencing enhancements for prior strike convictions for robbery and two state prison convictions for street terrorism and possession of a firearm by a felon in 2007 and corporal injury on a spouse or cohabitant in 2012, both in Orange County. Jones was sentenced to two years and eight months in state prison.
In the early morning hours on May 25, 2014, Peterson got into a verbal argument with the victim, 25-year-old Antwan Jones, at a residence in Buena Park. After a brief fist fight with the victim outside of the residence, Peterson walked into his residence and retrieved a firearm from a closet. The defendant's girlfriend saw Peterson retrieve the firearm and attempted to prevent the defendant from returning outside. Peterson exited the apartment and walked to a nearby car that Antwann Jones was sitting in. Peterson shot the victim at least two times, striking Antwan Jones in the chest. The victim died a short time later from his injuries. Peterson then got into Jihad Jones' BMW sedan and the defendants drove away from the scene.
Witnesses near the scene called 911 and reported the shooting to the Buena Park Police Department, who investigated this case. An eyewitness identified Peterson as having gone inside an apartment and returning with a gun.
At Peterson's sentencing today, the victim's mother, sister, and niece delivered emotional impact statements to the court pursuant to Marsy's Law. The victim's mother, Mary Jones, spoke about the tremendous sadness she has experienced in losing her son, and the pain that their family still feels as a result of the defendant's actions.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Steve McGreevy of the Homicide Unit prosecuted this case.
Orange County District Attorney / Case # 14NF2382 / February 05, 2016