Man pleads not guilty in murder

Published 9:52 pm Thursday, September 10, 2009

A Chesapeake man pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder on his 48th birthday Thursday in Suffolk Circuit Court.

Gerard Dunston entered the plea in connection with the 2001 murder of Germaine Jones. Dunston was arrested by federal marshals in Michigan last month after he was indicted by a Suffolk grand jury in July.

Jones was living in Chesapeake with Dunston when she disappeared in May 2001, according to a press release issued when Dunston was arrested. Her remains were found in November in a wooded portion of Bennett’s Creek Park. Dunston was suspected during the initial investigation, but police detectives were unable to charge him.

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In January 2003, the case was assigned to Detective John Jones, who investigated the case on a part-time basis for six years. He finally was able to get an indictment this year.

Dunston was arrested Aug. 7 in Kalamazoo, Mich.

In a yellow jail jumpsuit Thursday, Dunston turned to look at family members seated in the courtroom, who waved and smiled. He requested a jury trial, which is scheduled to begin Jan. 27.