Police misconduct has a price, and Arthur Jones will finally get his day in court against the officer who caused him to be wrongfully convicted. His case against Neal Rockhold will go to trial for withholding evidence that proved Jones’ guilt.
This story began in 2015 when Jones, a teen at the time, was arrested and charged with the murder of Jabarri Goudy in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Jones was arrested and charged with the murder within days, although he was 70 miles away in Gulfport, reported Atlanta Black Star.
Not only was he 70 miles away, but there was also a surveillance video that showed him in Gulfport during Goudy’s murder.
Jones sat in jail for nine months and was eventually let out on bond. However, Keith Lee was also charged with the murder. He is the man who provided an alibi for Jones. Neither of the two men was guilty of the crime.
In 2018, Neal Rockhold was sued by Arthur Jones, alleging that Rockhold was aware of “misconduct, the suppression of exculpatory evidence, and the fabrication of a false case against Jones.” The lawsuit was put on hold while Rockhold was deployed on military service.
The lawsuit states that there was never any evidence to tie Jones to Goudy’s murder. Rumors on social media that Jones was the shooter led him to speak to the Hattiesburg police voluntarily. He believed that he would be cleared due to his location during the time of the crime.
But Rockhold ran with it. In a 55-page opinion written by Judge Taylor Neel, Rockhold told Jones he was “sick and f*cking tired” of Jones lying to him and that he had video evidence from the night of the murder that Jones was there. He later admitted that he did not have a photo or video of Jones in the area on that night.
When authorities were confronted with the evidence that Jones could not have committed the crime, they made excuses, such as claiming the date on the footage was incorrect. Rockhold also authored a story involving Jones fighting Goudy over an ex-girlfriend.
Now that Rockhold has returned, the trial will proceed despite Rockhold’s quest to have the suits dismissed because his official duties as an officer qualified him for immunity.
Keith Lee has a separate lawsuit against Rockhold that will also go to trial.