WTVM 8/30/14 Editorial: Teen homicide and the cost of murder

(WTVM) - Four young men's lives in Columbus are now changed forever after one violent night, but it's not because all four died.

Only one of the four, 16-year-old Christopher Jones, lost his life that night.

Two other teenagers, 15-year-old Jamal Scott and 14-year-old Jaquan Harris now face adult Felony Murder charges in connection to the death. And 18-year-old Terrance Streeter is now charged with Aggravated Assault in relation to the homicide.

The case involves a crashed stolen car, multiple stolen guns, and other details yet to be known.

The courts will sort out the case in time, but the laundry list of bad choices allegedly made by the teenaged suspects and the deceased—according to the charges filed against them—Is a sad story with no happy ending.

The facts of how and why Jones died at 16 will matter a great deal in court, but in a larger sense, those details will not change the fact that Jones is gone, and his potential—whatever it might have been—is lost forever.

The lives of the 15 and 14 year olds who were with Jones that night will be deeply affected by the case no matter the legal outcome.

Maybe the death of Christopher Jones, one of the 19 homicides in Columbus this year, can be a teachable moment. But the numbers of lives affected by one murder is always five to ten times that one statistic.

They are the ones left behind to cope, to grieve or to argue in court.

Those are the hidden human costs of every murder.

General Manager Holly Steuart brings two editorials a week to WTVM. If you would like to respond to an editorial, e-mail your response to WTVM Editorial Committee or write to:

WTVM Editorial Committee
1909 Wynnton Road
Columbus, GA 31906

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