1993 convicted carjacker gets reduced sentence
BRIDGEPORT — Orion Jones was 18 when he was convicted of a carjacking and attempted murder and sentenced to 60 years in prison.
On Wednesday, following an impassioned plea from the now 44-year-old Jones, Superior Court Judge Robert Devlin agreed to reduce the sentence to 45 years. With credit for time served, Jones could be within sight of parole.
“I was 18 at the time and all I wanted was to play video games and basketball,” Jones told Judge Devlin. “I felt it was in my best interest to hurt someone else to benefit myself.”
However, Jones said, during his time in prison he has worked with cancer patients and terminally ill people and learned the value of life. “I’ve learned to stop being so selfish and serve someone else,” he said.
It was a crime that truly shocked the community.
On the morning of May 11, 1993, Rodney Trovarelli was leaving his city home for work. As Trovarelli was entering his blue Isuzu Rodeo parked in his driveway, Jones jumped into the backseat, held a gun to Trovarelli’s head and ordered him to drive.
After driving a short distance, Jones ordered Trovarelli to stop at an abandoned house on Green Street. Jones took Trovarelli’s wallet, ordered him to lie face down on the floor and then shot him two times in the back of the head. Jones drove away in Trovarelli’s vehicle.
Trovarelli was discovered by some homeless people who called police. He was taken to Bridgeport Hospital where he survived his wounds but now, at 66, remains a quadriplegic cared for by his wife.
The day after the crime, Jones, at the urging of his cousin, Lyle Hassan Jones, went to the Bridgeport Police Department and confessed to the crime.
Jones later agreed to accept a plea bargain of 45 years in prison but that was rejected by a judge who ordered him to go to trial and then sentenced him to 60 years after a jury’s guilty verdict on all charges.
State’s Attorney John Smriga told the judge that, at the time, he considered the crime one of the worst he had ever prosecuted. But he continued that at the time he also believed that, based on Jones’ lack of criminal record and age, he felt that 45 years was an appropriate sentence.
Unlike many people Smriga prosecuted for serious crimes, he said Jones does appear to show genuine remorse.
“That’s why we are here today and that’s why I have taken the step to not oppose a sentence modification because I think there are extenuating circumstances,” the prosecutor added.