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Text message may have spelled out robbery plan

Updated: August 22, 2013 6:50AM

Destiny Jones worked the phone like most 18-year-olds do, sending texts and making calls while out and about partying one January weekend.

The difference, according to court documents, was that Jones was arranging a robbery.

Prosecutors have charged Jones with attempted murder, aggravated battery with a firearm, attempted robbery and attempted aggravated battery with a firearm.

Jones, now 19, remains in Kane County Jail on $450,000 bail after a recent court appearance. She has pleaded not guilty.

In seeking a search warrant for Jones’ cell phone, an Aurora police investigator spelled out how Jones spent the night of Jan. 19 and early morning hours of Jan. 20 hanging out with three men, all brothers.

After visiting one party they didn’t like in Schaumburg, the group returned to the Aurora area when Jones saw one of the brothers, a 21-year-old man, use a $100 bill to pay for a drink at a fast food restaurant. The man told police he noticed Jones saw him with a large amount of cash, approximately $3,500 at the time, the search warrant affidavit states.

After leaving the restaurant, Jones encouraged the 19-year-old driver to pick up one of her friends. The friend got in the car with the three brothers and sat next to Jones in the back seat. At 12:37 a.m., while sitting next to one another, Jones sent a text to her friend, according to the affidavit which detailed an exchange of messages.

“Aye my homie nem finna rob these [expletive]. Just go alone with it,” Jones wrote.

The friend, 17 at the time, replied, “Why u ain’t say that b4 I got in this car I don’t want [expletive] to do with that man.”

Jones tried to tell the friend she would be fine in the car with them, but then suggested the friend could ask to get out of the car at the next party stop, the investigator wrote.

“Yea I rather do that, cause I don’t want nobody to say they had me in the car. An I got problems an I ain’t got [expletive] to do with it in the first place,” the friend replied to Jones.

At Jones’ urging, the group stopped at an apartment complex in the 1300 block of Pearl Street. Jones and her friend went into a party, while the three brothers waited in the car. They sat for about 10 minutes before deciding to leave.

“When the three brothers pulled off from this area, they were being watched by several associates of Destiny,” the investigator wrote.

Jones reportedly told police she was coached to encourage the brothers to return to the Pearl Street location for the robbery to take place, and she made seven calls to the driver’s phone in 13 minutes before the shooting occurred, the affidavit explains. Jones’ friend noted to police that Jones was on her phone “a lot” while at the Pearl Street party. The affidavit states Jones, in an interview with police, told investigators she was “coordinating the impending robbery.”

The car with the three brothers eventually returned and parked near Pearl and Sherman Avenue. Jones walked back to the car, followed by “numerous males,” and got into the back seat. That’s when a man, not identified in the affidavit, pulled a gun and demanded the driver get out of the car. The gunman unsuccessfully tried to open the broken driver-side door, which was held shut by an elastic cord, prompting the driver to accelerate to get away. The gunman then fired at least one, possibly two, shots that hit the driver near his left ear, according to the affidavit. Thinking they’d be shot at, the driver’s two brothers ran from the car after it crashed into mailboxes, a fire hydrant and a parked vehicle.

Police arrived to find the driver conscious and breathing. He was taken to the hospital for non life-threatening injuries, records show.

Prosecutors later charged Denzel Yankieway with aggravated battery with a firearm and armed robbery, as well as two counts of attempted murder. He has a court appearance scheduled for Aug. 7.

Jones was initially only charged with attempted armed robbery and aggravated battery with a firearm, but a grand jury later indicted her on the attempted murder count.

“Destiny denied any knowledge of the intent to shoot [the three brothers]. Destiny stated the plan all along was to commit a robbery victimizing the three brothers,” the investigator wrote.

Jones returns to court July 24 for a status hearing.

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