Police: Stabbing happened during fight at party

Ryan Jones was stabbed in the chest allegedly by Monica Latoya Burns, 30, as he and “multiple subjects engaged” in a fight inside an apartment at the Timberland Apartments during the early morning hours of New Year’s Day, city police Agent Justin Snyder said in court documents that were made public Tuesday night.

After being stabbed, Jones, 28, fled the apartment, Snyder said, adding that surveillance cameras in the area show Jones coming out of the apartment about 1:10 a.m.

“Upon exiting the apartment, Jones was observed running through the Timberland Apartment complex, across Lycoming Street and toward the Williamsport Bureau of Fire headquarters to the northeast corner of the building, where sight of Jones on the video is lost when he walks behind a parked utility trailer,” Snyder wrote in a two-page affidavit.

“This is the area where Jones’ (body) was discovered hours later,” Snyder said.

The fight took place during a party inside Jada Hiller’s apartment, at 610 Lycoming St., Snyder said in the affidavit.

Police were called about 6:30 a.m. to investigate a report of an unresponsive male at the rear of fire headquarters at 440 Walnut St., Snyder said.

“Jones was found to have suffered trauma to areas of his head and upper body. He was pronounced dead at the scene by emergency medical personal and a deputy coroner,” Snyder said.

After viewing the surveillance video, police went to Hiller’s apartment. There “appeared to be dry blood on the apartment’s front door,” Snyder said.

Hiller allowed officers to search the apartment. The search “yielded additional evidence,” including a knife with blood on the blade,” Snyder said.

Hiller told investigators that a fight had broken out in her apartment. Through their investigation, officers learned the identities of those who were in the apartment at the time.

“One witness reported seeing Jones and another man involved in a fight that originated in the bathroom. The fight escalated into multiple subjects engaging in the fight. During the fight, a woman identified as Monica Burns obtained a knife and stabbed Jones in the chest,” Snyder said.

An arrest warrant has been filed for Burns, of the 1600 block of Randall Circle, charging her with criminal homicide, aggravated assault and possession of an instrument. Her whereabouts Tuesday night were unknown.

An autopsy on Jones, who police said lived in the city but whose address was listed as South Williamsport in his obituary, “determined that the cause of death was a stab wound to the chest,” Snyder said.

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