Man accused of raping RADE informant no-show ahead of trial; warrant issued

Trial still set for the week of Oct. 16 in the Rapides Parish courthouse
Rapides Parish Judge Chris Hazel has revoked bond and issued a bench warrant for the arrest of Antonio Jones after he failed to appear in court.
Published: Oct. 13, 2022 at 10:29 AM CDT
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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - Rapides Parish Judge Chris Hazel has revoked bond and issued a bench warrant for the arrest of Antonio Jones after he failed to appear in court Thursday, Oct. 13, for a bond revocation hearing.

In September, the Associated Press published an investigative story on the case in which it was reported that on Jan. 13, 2021 Jones raped a woman, who was wearing a microphone and hidden camera when she was forced to perform oral sex on him twice. She was looking to buy meth from Jones as a part of RADE operation in Alexandria.

Jones is charged with two counts of third-degree rape and one count of manufacturing with the intent to distribute CDS II. He pleaded “not guilty” to the charges. Jones posted a $70,000 bond on April 15, 2021, according to Rapides Parish jail records.

Prosecutor Brian Cespiva argued Jones’ failure to appear in court was a “disrespect to the legal process,” saying, “We should be able to get him without having to chase him all over the country.”

Defense attorney Phillip Robinson called Cespiva “zealous,” saying it was a premature motion.

“Mr. Jones needs to be afforded the opportunity to appear on Monday,” said Robinson, referencing Jones’ Oct. 17 trial date.

Robinson argued Jones has always shown up for court hearings, and the State did not introduce anything to suggest he had left Louisiana.

Several witnesses testified that Jones no longer lives at the address listed with his bail bondsmen, including the bail bondsman, landlord of the property at 75 Texas Avenue that Jones listed as his address, and an investigator for the Rapides Parish District Attorney’s Office who attempted to serve Jones with a summons for the bond revocation hearing.

The landlord testified Jones had previously been listed as an “occupant” of the property at 75 Texas Avenue in 2021. The lessee was listed under a woman’s name, who Jones was living with at the time. When the lessee did not renew the lease over the summer, the landlord asked Jones if he would be taking it over. She testified that he declined and left no forwarding address.

The DA’s investigator said they failed to serve Jones at that address, instead finding another family living in the home.

The bail bondsman testified that though Jones is legally required to notify him of a change in his address, he has not done so. He would also be contacted if the Court allowed Jones to leave the state, however, the bail bondsman was not aware of that having happened either.

“I have to go try to locate him,” the bail bondsman told the Court.

Jones is set to appear in court on Monday, Oct. 17 for the start of his jury trial, as well as a hearing on an additional motion filed by the defense to suppress video evidence that shows Jones raping the informant.

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