Man charged in cab robbery pleads guilty to separate assault

Joshua Jones punches friend while playing video game
Joshua Jones is sentenced for assault in Juneau District Court on Friday.

The man accused of assaulting a cab driver in the valley two months ago has pleaded guilty to an assault charge in a separate and unrelated city criminal case.

Joshua Raymond Jones, 19, who waived his right to an attorney during his arraignment last week, was sentenced in Juneau District Court on Friday for misdemeanor assault for punching a friend in the face while playing the video game Call of Duty.

“Mr. Jones got frustrated with how (his teammate) was playing, and so just out of nowhere in an unprovoked attack, Mr. Jones punched (his teammate) in the face,” city prosecutor August Petropulos told the judge.

Jones’ teammate was taken to the emergency room, where he was told he had a broken nose and that “one of his teeth was cracked up through the gum line,” Petropulos said.

Jones declined to address the court when given the chance.

Judge Keith Levy imposed a 160-day jail sentence with 100 days suspended, meaning there’s 60 days to serve. Levy also sentenced Jones to two years of probation and suspended a $500 fine. The city has 90 days to file a claim for restitution.

“In the realm of misdemeanor assaults, this sounds like a pretty serious one,” Levy said. “Seems like an unprovoked attack, it seems like certainly some serious injury was caused.”

Jones is being held in custody on bail for allegedly assaulting a cab driver in early January. Police said in an earlier release that a 46-year-old driver for Glacier Taxi & Tours LCC sustained minor injuries from that incident.

The cab driver told police he picked Jones up in downtown Jan. 6 and drove him to the valley, according to the JPD release. When the cab arrived at the Jordan Creek Shopping Center parking lot, Jones allegedly stole an undisclosed amount of money from the cab driver, hit him in the face, then ran away, according to the release.

He is facing one felony count of second-degree robbery in that case as well as one misdemeanor count of fourth-degree assault, court records show.

Jones was scheduled to change his plea to guilty in that case on Monday, but at the last minute rejected the plea offer and asked for a jury trial. Juneau Superior Court Judge Philip Pallenberg re-scheduled a three-day jury trial to be held in May.

In District Court on Friday, Jones told the judge he was represented by the Public Defender’s Agency in the felony case, and that he didn’t confer with his lawyer before pleading guilty to the city case.

Levy advised him to speak with a lawyer, but Jones refused.

“It may be to your advantage at least to talk to a lawyer about this before you go forward with this,” Levy said. “You have a right to give that up if that’s what you want to do and I will allow you to do that, but I think if you talk to a lawyer they would probably recommend that you not do it and that you consider talking to a lawyer. Do you understand that?”

“Yeah,” Jones replied.

“So what do you want to do?” Levy asked.

“Get sentenced,” Jones said.

“You want to go forward with this?” the judge asked.

“Yeah,” Jones replied.

Jones is next due in court for a pretrial hearing on May 1. Court records indicate he does not have any prior convictions.

• Contact reporter Emily Russo Miller at 523-2263 or at emily.miller@juneauempire.com.

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