CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- A special grand jury in Charlottesville issued new aggravated murder indictments against Christopher Darnell Jones Jr., who is accused of killing three University of Virginia football players and wounding two other students last November.

They are the most serious murder charges available in Virginia after it abolished the death penalty in 2021. Jones had initially been charged with second-degree murder after his arrest.

Jones was a UVA student and former member of the football team who police say opened fire on a charter bus that had brought back students from a field trip.

Football players Lavel Davis Jr., D’Sean Perry and Devin Chandler were killed, while a fourth member of the team, Mike Hollins, and student Marlee Morgan were wounded.

Albemarle County Commonwealth’s Attorney James Hingeley said in a news release that the new indictments were returned Wednesday.

There are six indictments for aggravated murder, two each for Chandler, Davis and Perry, one indictment for aggravated malicious wounding of Hollins, one indictment for aggravated malicious wounding of Morgan and five felony indictments for the unlawful use or display of a firearm in committing a felony.

If convicted, Jones would serve a mandatory life sentence.

Liz Murtagh, the public defender in Charlottesville and Albemarle County appointed to represent Jones, tells the Associated Press she is “sorry the prosecutor chose to go this route” but declined further comment.

Political analyst Scott Goodman said this is the first time these aggravated first-degree murder charges have been used in a case in our area.