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Technology led police to killer, who will now serve life

Victim Mitchell Jones Jr.
January 6, 2020

Cobb District Attorney Joyette M. Holmes announces that an Atlanta man has pleaded guilty to murder in a case believed to be one of the first in Georgia solved with the help of geofencing technology.

This morning, Dunte Lamont Holmes, 22, pleaded guilty to malice murder, aggravated assault and other charges in the Nov. 23, 2018 death of Mitchell Jones Jr., 31, at a residence on Laurie Jo Drive in Austell. Shortly before 10 p.m. that evening, an obviously distressed Jones called 911 for help. He was not able to give his location, but first responders were able to find him. When they arrived at the residence, it was unlocked, but Jones was discovered trapped in a locked bedroom to which police had to force entry. Inside, they found Jones in a very bloody scene, suffering from multiple blunt- and sharp-force injuries to his face, head, torso and extremities. He was rushed to a hospital, but did not survive. Crime-scene technicians collected evidence at the scene, including a drop of blood that was found just outside the home’s entryway.

The case went cold for a few months, but in March 2019 Cobb Police detectives executed their first-ever search warrant for geofence data from Google. A laborious process of analyzing the resulting data led them to Holmes. Once in custody, Holmes ultimately admitted his involvement. The DNA profile from the blood drop collected at the entryway also matched to him.

“We at the D.A.’s Office are proud of our partnership with our local law enforcement agencies,” Deputy Chief ADA Jesse Evans said.  “Our victims and their families deserve their day in court; we are committed to collaborating with police as we all seek new and innovative ways to bring justice to these families.”

The victim’s father, Mitchell Jones Sr., told the court that he hopes one day to forgive the man who took his son’s life.

“I preach forgiveness in church, but it is easier said than done,” Mr. Jones said.

After accepting the guilty plea, Cobb Superior Court Chief Judge Reuben Green sentenced Holmes to life in prison.

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