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Former NAU student jailed as he awaits sentencing for manslaughter

Steven Jones (Coconino County Sheriff's Office via AP)

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — A former Northern Arizona University student has been booked into jail in advance of his upcoming sentencing in a 2015 shooting in which another student was killed and three others wounded.

Charges against Steven Jones originally included first-degree murder but he ended up pleading guilty Jan. 9 to manslaughter in 20-year-old Colin Brough’s death and to three counts of aggravated assault.

Jones reported to the Coconino County jail Friday night, said Matthew Figueroa, commander of detention services for the county Sheriff’s Office.

The 23-year-old Jones’ sentencing hearing is scheduled Feb. 11 but Superior Court Judge Dan Slayton gave him a week before ordering him to report to jail after he pleaded guilty.

Rich Robertson, a private investigator hired by Jones’ lawyers, said the delay allowed Jones “to get his affairs in order.”

Jones had remained free in his parents’ custody in metro Phoenix while awaiting trial and immediately after he entered his pleas under an agreement with prosecutors.

Jones was arrested immediately after the Oct. 9, 2015, shooting, which occurred after he was punched in the face.

Before pleading guilty, Jones was scheduled to face a second murder trial this month after a jury deadlocked on charges in his first trial.

Jones has acknowledged firing the shots during the campus confrontation but he claimed he acted in self-defense after being attacked verbally and physically.

Jones faces five to 10 years in prison when he’s sentenced next month and was ordered to pay restitution to Brough’s parents and the wounded men. He had faced up to 25 years if convicted of second-degree murder at trial.

Seeking to avoid further delays in the case, prosecutors in December reduced the murder charge against Jones from first-degree to second-degree.

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