Suspect guilty in Jamail Johnson murder trial

A year and a half after the death of her son Jamail Johnson at an off-campus party, Shirlene Hill has finally found some closure.

Her son’s murderer, Columbus Jones Jr., was found guilty of aggravated murder, and a dozen counts of felonious assault related to other injured partygoers.

“Words can’t explain how I feel today,” Hill said. “To the [Youngstown State University] community, thank you. I want to stress that because I never could have made it without you.”

She specifically thanked YSU President Cynthia Anderson; William Blake, director of Student Diversity Programs; and the justice system.

Hill said she will be in court on Thursday to witness Jones’ sentencing, who faces life imprisonment.

“I hope to hear it’s the maximum on all counts,” Hill said. “He took my son.”

Johnson was said to have lost his life while attempting to break up a fight, which led to Jones discharging a firearm into an Indiana Avenue residence.

“He didn’t die in vain. He did what he was supposed to do,” Hill said.