Why Gangbangers, DA Had No Stomach for a Hasan Jones Child-Abuse Trial

Hasan Jones at his sentencing hearing. Additional photos below.
Hasan Jones at his sentencing hearing. Additional photos below.
9News screen capture

In his wheelchair, Hasan Jones rolled into the courtroom for his sentencing hearing Thursday, August 18, for the death of two-year-old Ny’ari Hines. The hearing at Arapahoe District Court finalized a plea deal that avoided a child-abuse trial that neither hardened gangbangers nor hardened prosecutors seemed to have the stomach for.

It was exactly two-years ago, on August 18, 2014, that Aurora police officers were called to an apartment where Jones lived with his girlfriend, Ny’ari’s mother, and found the toddler unresponsive. Jones had been babysitting Ny’ari during the days while her mother was at work. NyNy, as she was called, was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital. An autopsy found "extreme bruising" on her head, body and limbs, and evidence of blunt-force trauma to the little girl’s abdomen, which caused severe internal bleeding.

Jones, a known gang member with the Park Hill Bloods, became paralyzed in 2013 after being shot multiple times by anti-gang activist Terrance Roberts during a peace rally in the parking lot of the Boys and Girls Club in Denver's Holly Shopping Center.

As the investigation into Ny’ari’s death was just beginning, Denver police arrested Jones in connection with a drive-by shooting months before. (He was ultimately acquitted of six counts, including attempted murder, in Denver court.) Back then, Jones was 23 years old, with a thin and wiry build. But after almost 24 months in jail, he’s put on about thirty pounds and his face is puffy. His shoulders and back are broad and thick, filling out his wheelchair.

Terrance Roberts.
Terrance Roberts.
Photo by Anthony Camera

During the high-profile Terrance Roberts trial, Jones refused to testify as a victim, which had an effect on the jury’s decision to find Roberts not guilty and make him a free man. Jones declined to speak on his own behalf during his sentencing hearing, too.

Quisa Antoine, Ny’ari’s mother, says they “just want some more answers. I just want all the drama and the loss to stop.”

Judge Peter F. Michaelson detailed the terms of the sentence Jones received after pleading guilty to child abuse resulting in death, a Class 2 Felony that calls for a twenty-year sentence. He noted that while Jones is taking responsibility, he is leaving many unanswered questions that would help the family gain closure.

Ny’ari’s aunt, Lorraine Bassard, spoke about how much stress and hurt the death has put on their family. “Whatever happened that night, she didn’t deserve it,” she said. “She was just a little girl.”

But she added, “I have to forgive him. I hope he is rehabilitated."

Hasan Jones's booking photo.
Hasan Jones's booking photo.
Denver Police Department

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