Police seeking second suspect in officer's murder

Posted: August 24, 2012

This story has been corrected. 

A 23-year-old man was formally charged Friday with murder in the shooting death of off-duty Police Officer Moses Walker Jr. last week and investigators identified the second man wanted for the crime.

The charges against Rafael Jones come two days after he was arrested on a warrant for a probation violation.

Police sources have said Jones, of Warren Street near 36th in West Philadelphia, confessed to being part of the robbery team that killed Walker, 40. He also was charged with robbery and related offenses.

Capt. James Clark, Homicide Unit commander, said the second man sought is Chancier McFarland, 19, of the 1400 block of North 23rd Street in North Philadelphia. He said McFarland should be considered armed and dangerous and asked anyone with information about his whereabouts to contact police.

Capt. James Clark, Homicide Unit commander, said the second man sought is Chancier McFarland, 19, of 23rd Street near Master in North Philadelphia.

He said McFarland should be considered armed and dangerous and asked anyone with information about his whereabouts to contact police.

A police source said cops believe that Jones shot Walker, 40, three times in cold blood on a North Philly street.

The confession followed an apparent all-day grilling by homicide detectives who, along with U.S. Marshals, had captured Jones in a Southwest Philadelphia public-housing complex.

In an interview earlier Thursday night, Ada Banks, grandmother of Rafael Jones, maintained that Rafael Jones was not involved in the cop's killing.

She called him a "sweetheart," but added that his mother had previously turned him in to police for having a gun.

"It's not like they caught him with a gun," she said. "He's not cooperating, and I wouldn't either."

She also said that Jones was shot last year but that his family doesn't know why.

When Jones was released from jail recently, Banks said, his probation officer called to ask if she'd take him in, but she declined. "I felt like at this time in my life, I didn't need the drama," she said.

Jones' aunt, standing next to Banks on their North Philadelphia block, said that the family is scared now that his identity had become public in connection with Walker's murder.

Banks said that the family had not had contact with Jones since he was taken into custody.

"I'm strong in the faith," Banks said. "Pro or con, and when it comes out, positive or negative."

Jones has a lengthy criminal history. Starting at age 12, he had a juvenile arrest record - when he was arrested in a burglary and later found guilty.

He was arrested three more times as a juvenile on drug possession, car theft and gun possession, and was found guilty each time.

As an adult, he again ran afoul of the law - at age 18, in an aggravated-assault case against his sister and in a gun-possession case. Then, this February, he was arrested in a gunpoint robbery.

Jones was most recently in the Philadelphia prison system until about two weeks ago. He was released Aug. 8. He had been locked up for six months after being arrested in February with a co-defendant in the gunpoint robbery.

This case triggered a violation of a three-year probation sentence he was serving, which followed a two-to-four-year state prison term on the gun-possession case. He served the maximum sentence and was released from state prison Oct. 16.

At a July 25 violation-of-probation hearing before Common Pleas Judge Susan Schulman, a state parole agent recommended that Jones be placed under house arrest with electronic monitoring, said Tasha Jamerson, spokeswoman for the District Attorney's Office.

Schulman ended up ordering that Jones be released to state house arrest for six months and submit to weekly drug screens.

In the gunpoint-robbery case from February, prosecutors in June ended up withdrawing charges because the alleged victim failed to show up in court to testify against him and did not cooperate with police.

Jones was let out of county prison Aug. 8 when Schulman ordered him to be released before he was fitted for an electronic-monitoring device, prison spokeswoman Shawn Hawes said. The judge ordered that he report to his state parole officer, Hawes said.

It was not clear if Jones was ever set up for house arrest under electronic monitoring. He did have contact with a state parole agent, having submitted a urine sample on Aug. 10 that tested positive for drugs, a source said. His parole officer then instructed him to return Aug. 15 for a weekly report. He didn't show up.

Three days later, Walker was slain.

On Thursday, Jones' 19-year-old brother was taken to Police Headquarters for questioning after showing up at the North Philadelphia's 22d District in the company of State Rep. W. Curtis Thomas, D-Phila.

Ramsey told reporters at Police Headquarters earlier Friday that the brother was not a suspect and investigators only wanted to question him.

"His grandmom called me earlier and said they've been looking for him and asked would I bring him in," Thomas told the Daily News about 11:30 p.m. "I said yes."

- Staff writer Sean Carlin

contributed to this report.

Contact Morgan Zalot at zalotm@phillynews.com or 215-854-5928. Follow her on Twitter @morganzalot. Read her blog at PhillyConfidential.com.

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