April Jones

Murder victims remembered at Jeffersonville vigil

October 4, 2007


April Jones went out to Priya’s Bar and Grill Friday night to enjoy time with her brothers. Hours later, she and her 25-year-old brother were murdered just steps from the police station, and the other sibling nearly killed.

About 50 people showed up to the Jeffersonville restaurant’s parking lot Wednesday night to remember Jones, 21, her brother Dyjuan Latendresse, 25, and the continued recovery of Johnathan Jones Jr., 17, who is at University Hospital in Louisville after sustaining four gunshot wounds.

Latendresse and Derek Lawson, 25, got into an argument inside the Quartermaster Court bar early Saturday, according to Clark County Superior Court No. 1 documents. The altercation moved outside and got physical. April Jones tried to stop Lawson, a former friend of Latendresse’s, from shooting her siblings. Lawson allegedly shot Jones to death, then shot Latendresse and Johnathan Jones Jr. as they tried to run away, records say.

Louisville activist Christopher 2X led the Wednesday night vigil, which featured prayer, music, testimonies from other families of murder victims and calls for people not to take their pain out on themselves or others.

Christopher 2X — who has worked to comfort more than 100 families of homicide victims in the Louisville area — was also the person Lawson called when he wanted to turn himself in to Jeffersonville police.

Before accompanying Lawson to Jeffersonville, he notified the victims’ families to assure them this act did not lessen his support toward them.

“You can’t put together a textbook to stop violent crime,” Christopher 2X said at the service.

Christopher 2X, along with April and Johnathan Jones’ father, John, said they felt sorry for Lawson’s family. Lawson — who is being held with no bond on two counts of murder and one attempted murder charge — could go to prison for 110 to 180 years if convicted.

Lawson and Latendresse grew up as friends, but had a series of altercations with each other and run-ins with the law over the years, according to court records. Despite any of Latendresse’s flaws, violent crime was not the answer, John Jones said.

“He had a heart just like everybody else has a heart,” Jones said. “I’m still in shock.”

Jones was involved in Latendresse’s life since he was a toddler, and said he was blessed to have spoken to him as well as his own daughter hours before they died. Latendresse called Jones “Pops” in a phone conversation, and Jones said everyone was excited to go out for “open mic” night at Priya’s.

“The killing has got to stop,” Jones told the crowd. “I appreciate you all’s support.”

After the service, Jones remembered his daughter as a driven young woman who was working toward becoming a nurse and left behind a 1-year-old daughter.

They just came here to have a good time,” Jones said.

As for Lawson, Jones said he did not know enough about the reported conflicts to comment, but did add he felt “sorry” for him.

“He took two lives, one the precious innocent life of my daughter,” Jones said.

Funeral services are expected to be held Friday for both victims.

See post for dear brother Dyjuan Latendresse here.


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