At noon Wednesday, Tilton Joshua Isaiah Mapps was found guilty of the murder of Jonathan Trahern Young. Mapps is accused of the murder of Young at Pacific Park on June 8, 2015.
Just before 10 a.m., both the Prosecution and defense closed their case before a Hopkins County Jury in Eighth Judicial Court in Hopkins County in the murder trial. The punishment phase of the trial will begin at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, August 10, 2016.
The final witness on the stand Wednesday morning was Mapps. Mapps followed Tuesday afternoon’s list of law enforcement and forensic experts that testified regarding the arrest of Mapps, the ballistic residue found and shell casings found at the sight of the shooting, and the autopsy of Young. The forensic pathologist testified that Young was shot in the chest with the projectile exiting his back. The projectile passed through his heart and other organs. Other projectiles entered his back. The shell casings found at the scene were all fired by the same weapon.
In Mapps testimony Wednesday, he said he was being railroaded and others were playing lying games. He testified that the only gun he had with him in Sulphur Springs was a .25-calibur weapon. He said he was not involved in the shooting and did not know of it until later. He said he stayed in Greenville the night following the shooting and arrived in Arkansas later that week. He said he became aware of the shooting of Young only after he heard that threats against him were being made. He stayed in Fort Smith Arkansas with friends to get away from the treats and intended to come back to Sulphur Springs and speak with law enforcement later. He said he did not contact local law enforcement because he intended to return. He claimed that he was unaware of police looking for him. He stated that he was not trying to hide in the backseat of an auto in Fort Smith at the time of his arrest. He said that he had walked from the apartment to the auto and attempted to get in the front seat but there was not room, so he sat in the back. He also stated that he was not covered by a pool flotation devise as the U S Marshal had testified Tuesday.
Mapps said that all, including Dillon Burk and one identified by Mapps as the mother of his children, who had testified they saw him shoot Young were mistaken. He stated that in the interrogation video he had agreed to self-defense only because he felt threatened by the Texas Ranger when he was told that he would never see his son grow up and play football.
When asked if he shot Young, Mapps replied, “No Sir.” He said he did not have a .40-calibur weapon. He had told law enforcement that Young was killed with a .40-calibur Smith & Wesson only because he had seen another person with it. He said he was not at the Park at the time of the shooting but saw Dillon Burk with the weapon running from the park.
Law enforcement had found Mapps by using technology available to locate the cellphone with him. He said he did not have a cellphone with him. He stated that his girlfriend Tessa Macon had the phone and he didn’t know why she turned it on and off.
His testimony ended after Assistant District Attorney Matt Harris played an audio file of a phone conversation of Mapps and Adaris Matthews initiated by Mapps while in Hopkins County Jail. In it Mapps stated that he had a good lawyer that would get him off the charges.
The Hopkins County Sheriff‘s Office is located at 298 Rosemont St., Sulphur Springs, TX 75482. Non-emergency calls can be made to (903) 438-4040.
If you have an emergency, dial 9-1-1.