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Ennis player arraigned for leaving fatality

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JIM WILLIAMS

Ellis County Press

ENNIS - Marlon Jones, an Ennis High football player, was the driver of a vehicle involved in a Nov. 27 accident that fatally injured two pedestrians, according to reports.

The accident, which occurred on the southbound service road, west of Interstate 45, less than a mile north of Martin Luther King Boulevard, came three days before the Lions' Class 4A Division II Region II semifinal game against Lancaster.

Jones, 17, a junior running back and cornerback, was arraigned for leaving the scene of an accident without stopping and giving aid to those injured.

He was released on bond.

Jones was in uniform on the Lions' sideline last Saturday afternoon at Texas Stadium in Irving.

Ellis County District Attorney Joe Grubbs said the case would be evaluated by an Ellis County grand jury probably after the Christmas and New Year's holidays.

Ennis defeated Lancaster, 41-7, and the Lions will play in a region championship game this Saturday at 4 p.m. at Texas Stadium.

Ennis Police Chief Dale Holt said Jones immediately went home and telephoned police following the accident that Wednesday night. Jones went with his parents to the Ennis Police Station the next morning.

Holt said Jones would not be charged with the accident itself.

Holt called the accident, occurring after dark between 8:30 and 9 p.m., a violation by the two female pedestrians, 23 and 24 years of age. 

A male, age 13, reportedly had been walking off the roadway near the two women.

Grubbs said punishment could range from nothing at all to two-to-10 years in prison.

The DA said he hadn't received the report as of this past Monday morning.

However, from information Grubbs had received he said there was no evidence of alcohol involved.

'It was early evening, no fast speed,' he said. 'It was just one of those tragic things.'

Grubbs said the accident occurred about a half mile from where Jones lives with his parents. Grubbs said Jones returned home where he and his father called 9-1-1.

Grubbs said Jones is an adult for legal purposes, but his age of 17 would be one of the factors considered.

'You have a young man who hadn't been in trouble before,' Grubbs said. 'We look at the person. There's witnesses to be interviewed. One witness was really shaken up.'

The accident has been one of several tragic incidents involving Ennis athletes this school year, including the drowning death of varsity football player Jesse Vasquez during Labor Day weekend.

During the following week, Jeff Braddock, a member of the Ennis golf and soccer teams, was mortally wounded from a shotgun blast.

A month later in October, an Ennis alumnus and former Lions' baseball player, Tim Gauna, 21, was one of the U.S. Navy sailors killed in the terrorist bombing of the U.S.S. Cole, while attempting to refuel on the Persian Gulf Coast.

In another incident, Holt said there hadn't been enough proof to make an arrest, but, from all indications, one of two suspects was allegedly a former Ennis High football player in the Aug. 6 robbery of Braum's Ice Cream and Dairy Store restaurant, 900 E. Ennis Ave.

Holt said the young African-American male had gone on to play college football.

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