Woman, 91, charged in neighbor dispute that killed husband appears in court
Hazel Jones-Huff, a 91-year-old Gresham woman whose husband was fatally shot by the off-duty Chicago Police officer that lived next door after a heated argument, appeared for the first time in court this afternoon on battery charges related to the incident.
Jones-Huff was charged with two misdemeanor counts of battery and one count of aggravated assault of a police officer in April after an argument between she and her husband and the couple that lived next door erupted in gunfire. Jones-Huff’s husband, Joe Huff. Jr., 86, was shot and killed by the off-duty officer, authorities said. Nobody else has been charged in the incident.
Jones-Huff was supposed to appear in court to answer to the charges last month, but that hearing was postponed because the elderly woman was in the hospital, being treated for complications related to the gunshot wounds, her attorney said at the time.
Police said the April 29 incident started when the off-duty officer, identified by neighbors and records as Courtney Hill, heard his wife arguing with Jones-Huff across the fence in their backyards in the 8400 block of South Carpenter Street. The officer went to investigate and saw Jones-Huff throwing dirt at his wife and hitting her with a broom, the man told police.
According to police reports, Huff Jr. went into his home, returned with a shotgun and fired, striking the police officer’s wife in the arm and hand. The officer then shot Huff. Moments later that officer shot Jones-Huff when it appeared she was reaching for her husband’s weapon, according to police. Jones-Huff was shot twice during the confrontation, police said. Relatives and neighbors said the two couples had been feuding for some time.
On Wednesday, Jones-Huff stood before Associate Judge Matthew J. Carmody with her nephew at her side, helping her to keep her balance. Jones-Huff didn’t speak during the brief hearing. But outside the South Side courthouse, dozens of the woman’s family, friends and supporters held up signs in a show of protest and wore shirts that read “Justice for Joe.” Although police officials have said Huff and Jones-Huff were shot after they initiated violence, the couple’s family dispute that version of events.
Last month, officials released audio recordings of 911 calls of the incident. On the recordings, Courtney Hill could be heard asking police to come and settle an argument as his wife and Jones-Huff yelled at each other. As Hill talked, the sound of shots being fired could be heard, followed by women screaming.
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