Former University of Louisville basketball player Chris Jones waived his right to a probable cause hearing in Jefferson County District Court on Monday, and a grand jury date was set for April to determine if there is enough evidence to indict Jones on two counts of rape and sodomy.
Jones’ attorney, Scott Cox, told reporters that he waived the hearing because the government was only going to call one witness — the detective on the case — and said he expects the grand jury will not indict Jones “because I don’t think the proof will support the charges.”
“It really didn’t advance our interest to have that hearing where we can’t cross examine the witnesses against him,” Cox said. “We believe that the grand jury is going to hear from all the witnesses in this case, every single one of them, in a private proceeding.”
Cox added that “numerous” witnesses were in the Cardinal Towne apartment on the night of the alleged rape, “and the witnesses that we’ve interviewed will support him, including every single person who was in the apartment that night.”
Cox claimed that police failed to interview witnesses from the party until after Jones was charged, “and the evidence in his favor, frankly, is growing every day as we continue our investigation.”
According to Jones’ arrest warrant, he is alleged to have forced one victim to engage in unwanted sexual intercourse and forced another to perform oral sex and engage in unwanted intercourse in a privately owned apartment complex near the U of L campus last month.
Commonwealth Attorney Tom Wine will now be handling the case. Jefferson County Attorney Mike O’Connell told reporters he was prepared to present solid evidence had the hearing not been waived on Monday.
“Had we had a probable cause hearing today, we would have presented ample, compelling and credible evidence that would have established probable cause to move this matter forward through the criminal justice system,” said O’Connell.
Judge Sheila Collins set the grand jury date for April 20, adding it is possible they could convene two weeks earlier. The same date was set for Tyvon Walker and Jalen Tilford, the two other men arrested and charged in connection with the incident, who also waived their right to a probably cause hearing on Monday.
Asked if Jones would testify before the grand jury, Cox said “that remains to be seen. He certainly has nothing to hide. He’s already made a taped statement to the police.”
Cox said Jones is “hanging in there” with the help of supporters and family, and that “he’s a really mentally strong person.”