(GoRealNewsNow.com) – The jury had already sentenced him to death for killing five family members — including four children — and now a judge has made it official, as the New York Post and other sources confirm.
Specifically, a Florida man, Michael Jones, who fatally attacked his wife with a bat and later strangled their four children, was sentenced to death on Friday.
During a brief hearing, Ocala County Judge Anthony Tatti confirmed Jones’ death sentence as recommended by a jury during a January trial. According to the Ocala Star Banner, an attorney for Jones said he plans to appeal the sentence.
The tragic events unfolded in July 2019 after Jones’ wife, Casei Jones, accused him of infidelity upon examining his phone. Jones later told police that his wife threatened him with a bat during a heated argument at their Marion County residence. In response, he violently beat her to death with the bat in a fit of rage.
The couple’s four young children were asleep at the time and did not wake up during the attack. Jones admitted to police that he wrapped his wife’s body in blankets, put it in a tote bag, and hid it in a closet. He then used her cellphone to post on her social media accounts in an attempt to cover up her death, as reported by the Ocala Star Banner.
Jones took his two stepchildren, Preston Bowers, 4, and Cameron Bowers, 8, to their father’s house and left his own children, Mercalli Jones, 2, and Alyana Jones, 11 months, at their grandmother’s home. Concerned that the children’s absence from school would raise suspicion, Jones decided to take further action.
A week before Cameron was due to return to school, Jones strangled him while he slept and placed his body in a suitcase. The next day, he choked Preston with a zip tie and drowned him in a bathtub, also putting his body in a suitcase.
Several days later, Jones went to a local police station with his two daughters and considered turning himself in for the three murders. However, he ultimately decided against it and drowned the toddlers in a bathtub instead. “I don’t know, just everything mounted up, and it seemed like the way out,” Jones told police after his arrest, according to police documents.
Jones was apprehended in September 2019 following a minor car accident. A police officer who responded to the crash detected a strong odor coming from Jones’ car and discovered Casei Jones’ body in the back of his minivan. Jones later directed police to the bodies of the four children in a nearby wooded area.
Although Jones pleaded guilty in November, his lawyers argued for a life sentence rather than the death penalty, citing his troubled upbringing. They told jurors that Jones was molested by his father, beaten by his stepfather, and claimed to hear voices urging him to commit criminal acts. However, the jury rejected these arguments and recommended execution.
Do you agree with the judge and jury that Jones deserves the death penalty? What is your opinion? Please share your thoughts by emailing [email protected]. Thank you.
— New York Post (@nypost) April 28, 2023