SAN DIEGO -- A phone call was at the center of day two in the trial of Tieray Jones, the man accused of murdering his 2-year-old stepson, Jahi Turner, 16 years ago.
Prosecutors say that in a recorded phone call with Jahi's mother, Tameka Jones, Tieray admitted that he was responsible for the child's death.
In court, Tameka talked about the moment she decided to work with police to place the call to her ex-husband in 2015. "I was told to kind of ask about that day, but not what to say," she explained.
Prosecutors said Tieray "clearly backpedaled" in the call when confronted about Jahi's death.
But defense attorneys continue to advocate for Tieray's innocence.
He was left to care for Jahi when Tameka, who was in the Navy, went out to sea on April 22, 2002.
Three days later, Tieray called 911 and said his stepson disappeared in the park when he walked to a vending machine.
Jahi's body was never found and the case went cold. But in 2014 it was reopened when new evidence was discovered.
Jones was arrested in April 2016 in North Carolina and brought back to San Diego to face a murder charge.
It is expected to be a lengthy trial, lasting until the end of March. If convicted, Jones faces 25 years to life.