Semaj Jones
Semaj Jones

A jury will decide Wednesday whether a Spring Valley man fired a gun at the Peru home of his estranged girlfriend, missing the numerous occupants, although a man was injured fleeing the scene.

Semaj Jones, 34, faces 4-15 years if convicted of aggravated discharge of a firearm. Prosecutors allege he fired a .40-caliber pistol (later recovered in a Spring Valley garage) on July 6 in Peru, where he tracked his former live-in girlfriend after she began moving out Independence Day weekend.

Prosecutors spelled out a mostly circumstantial case against Jones, as one witness testified to seeing him wield a pistol but didn’t see him fire it. A second witness heard gunshots as a figure approached him in the night, but didn’t get a good look before the shots sent him running.

Joshua Bell testified Tuesday he was sitting outside his Peru home enjoying a beer and a cigarette around 10:15 p.m. July 6 when a dark figure approached him.

“I heard gunshots and I took off running,” said Bell, who wasn’t struck with a projectile but injured a shoulder falling down a nearby ravine.

Inside the house, Jones’ former girlfriend Jacquelyn Guynn testified to hearing a series of popping sounds.

“Something in my gut told me it wasn’t fireworks,” testified Guynn, who said she immediately phoned police and ushered her children into a bedroom.

Minutes later, she peered out a door window and saw Jones, who tapped the window with a pistol.

Police arrived and found damage to the exterior consistent with gunfire and collected a .40-caliber shell casing. A firearms expert matched the shell to the firearm.

But was Jones the one who wielded the pistol and fired the shot? Jones took the stand Tuesday and denied any wrongdoing, though he acknowledged exchanging text messages with Guynn.

Closing arguments are set for 9 a.m. Wednesday in front of Chief Judge H. Chris Ryan Jr.

For more local news, visit News Tribune at

News Tribune