Jones found guilty of second degree murder, obstruction of justice following a 2016 incident

NEW ORLEANS – Last week, District Attorney Jason Williams’s Office secured the conviction of defendant Anthony Jones for the murder of his former girlfriend, Renata Vaughn, in a New Orleans’ Uptown neighborhood in February 2016. Led by Assistant District Attorneys (ADAs) Constance Tullier and Ian Kersting, the jury trial resulted in Jones being convicted of Second Degree Murder and Obstruction of Justice.

District Attorney Jason Williams said, My office is committed to doing everything in our power to ensure that those who choose to wreak havoc in our community are appropriately held accountable. Our prosecutors worked tirelessly to secure justice for the victim of this crime – a mother who was stabbed over 70 times in front of her two beautiful children that did not deserve to witness the death of their beloved mother. For this incredibly heinous act, Jones deserves to be held accountable. With that, I am grateful for the hard work of two of my youngest prosecutors Constance Tullier and Ian Kersting as well as Victim/Witness Advocate Vickie Landry and former NOPD Detective Bruce Brueggeman on this difficult case. Now that this conviction is secured and the legal phase is over, we hope that Renata’s family and friends can continue moving forward in healing.”

The trial took place in Section H of Criminal District Court; Judge Camille Buras presided. The sentencing date is set for February 2022. The defendant faces life in prison on the Second Degree Murder charge and up to forty years in prison on the Obstruction of Justice charge.

This conviction complements the success of DA Williams and OPDA prosecutors to secure convictions ​via jury trial since the resumption of jury trials in March. When cases come to OPDA with sufficient evidence, OPDA has vigorously fought for victims of violent crimes. Guilty jury trial verdicts secured since March include:

  • DA Williams, along with OPDA Trials Division Chief Matthew Derbes, secured the conviction of Samuel Hunter for Second Degree Murder.
  • ADAs Liz Strauss and Adele Krieger secured the conviction of Demeccio Caston for Second Degree Murder.
  • ADAs Samantha Stagias and Carmen Gealogo secured the conviction of Trae Williams for Manslaughter.
  • Chief Derbes and ADA Joe Zanetti secured the conviction of Harrison Bethley for murder.
  • ADAs Corbin Bates and Carmen Gealogo secured the conviction of Jhustyn Garrett for Domestic Abuse.
  • DA Williams, along with OPDA Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI) Unit Chief Mary Glass and ADA Naomi Jones, secured the conviction of William McDonough for rape.
  • ADA/Screening Division Chief Andre Gaudin, Jr. and First Asst. Ned McGowan secured the conviction of Christopher Alexander for murder.
  • ADAs Simone Levine and Brad Scott secured the conviction of Gerald “Frog” West for murder.
  • SAKI Chief Mary Glass and ADA Naomi Jones secured the cold case conviction of defendant Roland Butler for kidnapping, robbery, and sexual assault.
  • ADA Samantha Stagias secured the conviction of defendant Tremaine Williams for Aggravated Battery and Felon with a Firearm.
  • DA Williams, along with ADAs Christian Hebert-Pryor and Screening Chief Andre Gaudin, Jr., secured the conviction of Garrett Ward for murder.
  • Deputy Chief of Trials Lilian Hangartner and ADA Samantha Stagias secured the unanimous conviction of Joshua Riley for Third Degree Rape.
  • ADAs Alex Calenda and Katherine Messina secured the conviction of defendant Michael Robinson for Second Degree Murder.
  • ADAs Tori Guidry and Susan Kutcher secured the conviction of Damien Jenkins for Aggravated Assault with a Firearm and Felon in Possession of a Firearm.
  • Deputy Chief of Trials Lilian Hangartner and ADA Penny Kissinger secured the conviction of defendant Shonnon Esteen for the rape of two minors.
  • ADAs Christian Hebert-Pryor and William Dieters secured a unanimous guilty as charged verdict of defendant Craig Curley, Sr. for sexual abuse of a minor.
  • DA Williams, along with ADAs Joe Zanetti and Corbin Bates, secured the guilty as charged conviction of Damond Scott for Second Degree Murder, Attempted Second Degree Murder, and Obstruction of Justice.
  • DA Williams, along with ADAs​ Andre Gaudin​, Jr. and Simone Levine, secured the conviction of defendant Darren Bridges for the murder of NOPD Officer Marcus McNeil.
  • ADAs Joseph Zanetti and Constance Tullier,secured the conviction of defendant Joann McDaniel for the killing of 17-year-old Tajana Williams in New Orleans’ Desire neighborhood in August 2018.
  • Screening Division Chief Andre Gaudin and Assistant District Attorney ​(ADA) Penny Kissinger, secured the convictions of defendants Arec Billiot, Alec Billiot, and Caiden Fruge for the killing of University of Louisiana at Lafayette student Lee Long.

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