Beaumont man sentenced for Valentine’s Day murder

Beaumont man sentenced for Valentine's Day murder

Beaumont man sentenced for Valentine’s Day murder


Editor’s Note: This story includes a brief reference to suicide deaths.

A Jefferson County jury found guilty Tuesday of a Beaumont man charged with killing his wife on Valentine’s Day 2019.

After four days of testimony and more than six hours of deliberation over two days, the jury unanimously found Christopher Ray Jones guilty of murdering his late spouse, Olivia Jones.

“We are disappointed and respectfully disagree with them,” defense attorney Ryan Gertz said. โ€œWe donโ€™t think the evidence supports the decision that it was a murder. We believe he was acting under threat of suicide and obviously the jury disagrees with us. We go to the jury and let them decide their question and then finally We have to respect their ruling and try to do our best.”

Christopher Ray Jones, 43, has now been sentenced to 30 years in prison without the right to appeal the case. Shortly after being found guilty, the court vacated the convicted man’s bail and held him in custody pending the punishment phase in Jefferson County Criminal District Court.

He faces 5 to 99 years or life in prison for first-degree felony murder.If he is convicted of manslaughter, he faces a lesser sentence of 2 to 20 years in prison and a second-degree felony fine of up to $10,000

When the court resumed sitting, Justice John Stevens Jr announced that a penalty agreement between the defence and prosecution had been filed.

Regarding the agreement, Goetz said appeals are often misunderstood and more generally based on paratechnical issues. Winning a case where the evidence is legally sufficient to support a verdict is very rare, he said.

So, the question becomes: Do the defense want to risk a sentence of more than 30 years (maybe even 99 years or life in prison), or limit the risk. The latter could give Jones a chance to be awarded in his 50s, Gertz said.

“Obviously we would have liked a much lower amount, but given the jury’s verdict saying they believed he basically shot her on purpose, the risk of a much higher sentence than 30 years outweighed the potential benefit of trying to get it. A truly rare appeal victory,” he continued.

Christopher Jones was indicted in April 2019 after being charged with Beaumont’s first homicide that year.

His week-long trial ended on Monday, with prosecutors Jimmy Hamm and Goetz giving more than an hour of closing arguments.

Police said Jones threatened to divorce on the day of his wife’s death, according to previous business reports. Court documents previously said the news “caused a commotion” and the pair struggled with a loaded pistol before gunshots shot Olivia Jones in the back of the head, the article said.

The defense argued that the fight was the result of Christopher Jones trying to prevent Olivia Jones from dying by suicide. He believes his actions were necessary to stop his wife, who allegedly threatened him in the past, from harming him.

But Hamm called Christopher Jones a “liar” who liked to take control and “act” for his innocence. He reminded the jury to draw reasonable inferences as he reiterated discrepancies in Christopher Jones’ story, including the original narrative of the gun fight.

A release from the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office said: “The State of New York refutes all of these false claims by presenting Jones’ inconsistent story from 911 calls, body cameras, home security videos, and his statements in support of the murder conviction. .”

In a news conference Tuesday, the prosecutor’s office said Hamm would like to thank the Beaumont Police Department for their professionalism in handling the matter.

“The entire department has done an excellent job of testifying and exemplifies the professional demands we have on public servants, especially Chief Detective Mendy Freeman,” the prosecutor’s office said. “Sgt. Celestina Rossi of the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department provided critical Bloodstain analysis was critical to obtaining a conviction in this matter, and she did an exemplary job of interpreting biological evidence that contested the defendant’s claims.”

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