Georgia man convicted for murder of Irvington club dancer

IRVINGTON, NJ — On Friday, Feb. 3, Johnny Jones III, 32, of Jonesboro, Ga., was found guilty by an Essex County jury and convicted of murder, conspiracy to commit murder, unlawful possession of a weapon and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose. Assistant Prosecutors Naazneen Khan and Jason Alterbaum tried the case before the Superior Court Judge Michael L. Ravin.

Khan said the incident occurred in December 2011, when Jones and Brian Love went to the Dollhouse, a go-go bar in Irvington, and encountered the victim, Denise Ramsey, who was a dancer in the club. Ramsey was seen leaving the club with Jones and Love during the early morning hours of Dec. 3, 2011. Ramsey was never seen alive again. On Jan. 3, 2012, Ramsey was reported missing by her sister. On Jan. 25, 2012, Ramsey’s body was found in a vacant lot located at S. 15th Street and South Ward Place in East Orange. The cause of death was determined to be multiple stab wounds and her death was ruled a homicide. An investigation by the Essex County Prosecutor’s Homicide Task Force determined that the victim was with Jones and Love after leaving the Dollhouse. A forensic examination of the victim’s body revealed various sources of DNA. Detectives determined that Jones and Love returned to Georgia. Detectives travelled to Georgia and obtained a DNA sample from Jones. Forensic testing determined that the DNA recovered from the victim’s body was a match to Jones. Detectives then learned that Jones fled from his residence shortly after providing the DNA sample. Jones was taken into custody in Miami, Fla., on Dec. 4, 2015. He was extradited to New Jersey to stand trial for the death of Ramsey.

Khan and Alterbaum commend the detectives of the Homicide Task Force for investigating this case and for bringing Jones to justice. In particular, the assistant prosecutors thank Detective Sgt. First Class Thomas McEnroe of the NJ State Police, Detective Sgt. Peter Cassidy of the Orange Police Department and Detective Joseph Hadley of the Newark Police Department for their efforts on this investigation. Acting Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray praised and thanked Khan and Alterbaum for their work on the trial. Khan said she is “thankful for the guilty verdict” and hopes it brings some sense of closure to the family of Denise Ramsey.

The defendant, who faces a maximum sentence of life in prison, is scheduled for sentencing before Ravin on Monday, March 20. The co-defendant, Brian Love, previously pleaded guilty to a charge of manslaughter in connection with this case. He will also be sentenced by Ravin in the near future.