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No Bail for Man Accused|of Murdering Stepson

SAN DIEGO (CN) — A man accused of murdering his 2-year-old stepson 14 years ago was ordered held without bail Tuesday as the once-cold case cracks open.

Tieray Jones, 37, was extradited to San Diego last week from North Carolina in connection to the April 25, 2002 disappearance and suspected murder of Jahi Turner.

San Diego Superior Court Judge David Szumowski significantly upped Deputy District Attorney Nicole Rooney's request that Jones' bail be set at $5 million, finding Jones poses a significant flight risk.

"The fact this is a serious crime and the investigation is zeroing in on him means he has every reason to leave," Szumowski told the packed courtroom.

Jones' defense attorney Peter Will argued against the high bail, noting Jones has been cooperative throughout the entire ordeal, from when Jahi first disappeared to now.

Rooney remained tight-lipped about the details and evidence that led investigators to charge Jones with murder and felony child abuse resulting in death. But San Diego Police Chief Shelly Zimmerman said last week that a new team of investigators looked into the cold case two years ago and developed fresh leads, which she declined to describe.

Jahi was reported missing from a Balboa Park-area playground after Jones left the boy with an unknown woman and multiple children while he went to buy a soda from a vending machine, according to the District Attorney's Office. Jones said when he returned 15 minutes later Jahi, the woman and other children were gone.

Jahi's body has never been found.

Rooney said none of Jahi's family members were in court Tuesday but did imply some of them, including his mother Tameka Jones, may take the stand at a preliminary hearing set for June 21.

If convicted, Jones faces 25 years to life in prison, Rooney said.

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