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Jeremy Bryan JONES

 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 
 
 
Classification: Serial killer
Characteristics: Rape
Number of victims: 4 - 21
Date of murders: 1992 - 2004
Date of arrest: September 19, 2004
Date of birth: April 12, 1973
Victims profile: Women aged between 16 and 44 years
Method of murder: Shooting / Stabbing with knife
Location: Kansas/Alabama/Georgia/Louisiana, USA
Status: Sentenced to death in Alabama on November 29, 2005
 
 
 
 
 
 

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The life of a killer

December 04, 2005

Detectives have spent hundreds of hours listening to his rambling confessions. The more they hear, the harder it is to tell fact from fiction.

The brown fields of Arkansas and Mississippi blurred past as a Greyhound sped Jeremy Bryan Jones away from his troubled past.

It was December 2000, and the handsome 27-year-old mama's boy was wanted in Oklahoma on a rape charge. But he says he was fleeing more than just the law: "I was trying to change. I wanted a new life."

He always felt the law had it in for him— even though two 1996 rape charges, including one where he allegedly fired a gun to threaten a woman, were reduced and he was given probation.

Jones had to attend sex-offender classes, which he hated. "I don't want to listen to those perverts talk," he told his mother.

A gregarious sweet-talker, Jones bragged he could "talk the panties off a nun." The silver-tongued ladies' man considered himself born lucky. But a voracious methamphetamine habit and increasingly aberrant behavior tested that luck — and he knew it.

"It's easier to look in the rearview mirror than to face your problems," he later told detectives.

In that mirror was Miami, Okla., population 14,000, a bleak landscape pocked with abandoned zinc and lead mines. Jones says he embraced the "thug mentality" in high school: "They had all the money, the motorcycles, the women. For a while, I had all that, too."

As he fled Oklahoma, he had $3,000 from selling his truck and something priceless for a man in his situation: a new identity. He'd met the mother of a Missouri inmate in a bar in Joplin, Mo. He told her the system was sticking it to him again. She lent him her son's identity.

Now he was John Paul Chapman, and during the 20-hour bus ride to Tuscaloosa, Ala., he studied his new birth date and Social Security number. He wanted to spout them without hesitation. It was a role he perfected over the next four years.

On that bus, though, Jones was far more than a criminal on the run. Police say he was a serial killer on the path to new prey.

Since his arrest last year, he has confessed to killing at least 21 people in a string of murders that spanned 12 years and five states. Eight may have been metro Atlanta women.

Becoming John Chapman without slipping up "was easy," he said in telephone interviews last week from the Mobile County, Ala., jail. He mocked the authorities who arrested him three times in Georgia, failed to match his fingerprints with his true identity, and set him free.

"If I never came back to Mobile," he said, "I'd still be out there. I'd still be John Chapman."

One conviction thus far

Last week, Jones was sentenced to death for raping and killing a woman near Mobile.

Georgia authorities hope to bring him to justice here. He has been charged with the 2004 slaying of Amanda Greenwell, 16, in Douglas County. He told detectives he also killed Tina Mayberry outside a Douglasville bar in 2002 and that he kidnapped, raped and killed Patrice Endres, 38, a hairdresser who disappeared last year from her Forsyth County salon.

He claimed he killed three prostitutes in Mobile, five in the Atlanta area and another in New Orleans. He has been charged in the New Orleans killing, but police haven't substantiated his other claims.

Mobile County sheriff's Detective Paul Burch and Sgt. Mitch McRae have spent hundreds of hours with Jones, listening to his rambling and often changing confessions. His stories are a mixture of truth and fantasy.

"We spent hours and hours talking about hunting and fishing and girls," said McRae, who has a collage of Jones' photos hanging behind his desk. "He brags about conquests, about having affairs with teachers. A lot of that stuff was not true."

But several polygraph tests have supported his accounts of the killings.

Nevertheless, Jones now claims his confessions are hogwash, that he played the system to get special meals and phone privileges and meetings with his mother and girlfriend. His mother says he has called more than 350 times.

"When you take everything a man wants, I'll do everything possible to get what I want," he explained.

The tale he told detectives goes back to 1992, when he said he stalked, tried to rape and then stabbed to death Jennifer Bryan Judd, a pretty 20-year-old newlywed, in her Baxter Springs, Kan., apartment.

He also claimed to be the answer to an unsolved Oklahoma case in which a couple was found shot to death in 1999 in their burning trailer. Their 16-year-old daughter and her best friend are still missing.

Jones told detectives he killed the couple, kidnapped the girls, raped one, shot them both and dumped their bodies down abandoned mine shafts. Burch believes the rape charges had taught him a lesson: "He learned you don't leave a witness."

The ability to charm

Jones' stay with family friends in Tuscaloosa was short-lived. A bounty hunter tracked him down, so he fled south to Mobile, where he met Mark Bentley, a homebuilder. Bentley didn't need help, but Jones offered to work a day for free. Bentley was impressed. He hired him and let him stay at his trailer.

Jones looked up to Bentley, a rough-hewn man with a strong personality. A church elder, Bentley was unequivocal about Jones doing drugs. "I'll send your ass in a box back to your mama," he told him.

Jones dated several women in Mobile. He didn't set limits when approaching the opposite sex, often seeking pretty and accomplished women, McRae said. One was a registered nurse, another was getting a doctorate.

"Some part of dating these girls was a feeble attempt to be normal," Burch said.

Bentley's wife, Kim, says Jones was respectful and complimented her cooking. "When he saw someone sad, he wanted to cheer them up," she said. His emotions bubbled near the surface. He often giggled and "he'd cry just as easy as a woman."

She thought Jones yearned for a sense of family. He talked endlessly about his little brother and "he was excited about his mother coming here. He was in La La Land."

Jeanne Beard was happy her son had found the Bentleys. "I thanked God my son got in with good people." In her mind, their friendship shows that her son can't be the killer police say he is: "Kim and Mark Bentley loved my son. He wanted him to marry his cousin."

Kim Bentley's teenage step-daughter called Jones "Ken," as in Barbie's boyfriend. "We were a family," said Kim Bentley. "He wanted to fit in with it all. He did. He fit in with everybody he met."

But Jones eventually fell out with his adopted family — Bentley said he was often strung out on meth. He moved to a motel, where he met Craig Baxter, a Douglasville man working temporarily in Mobile.

Jones approached Baxter at the motel, saying he liked his T-shirt. "He'd keep a conversation going, whatever it takes," Baxter recalled.

When Baxter returned home, he left Jones a note: "If you're ever in Georgia, give me a call."

Jones took him up on the offer two months later, in May 2002. He had been beaten up and needed cash. Baxter wired $50. The next day, without warning, Jones, with stitches over his eye, appeared on Baxter's doorstep. Baxter let him stay in the basement.

Jones gave Baxter's wife, Jan, bad vibes. "He kept weird hours," she says. "He'd be gone a lot at night." Once, while watching "The Osbournes" on TV, Jones went on about Ozzy Osbourne's daughter.

" 'Oooh, what I could do with that,' " she recalls him saying. "I remember feeling uneasy."

Finally, the Baxters kicked Jones out. He was using drugs and not paying rent. Jones showed up at a neighbor's house, crying. "He was very weak," recalled John McIntosh, the neighbor. "Things really upset him."

McIntosh and his wife, Kerry, were splitting up, so he let Jones stay. He got him a job at Young Refinery in Douglasville, where McIntosh was a manager. "John Paul Chapman" passed a background check and was trained as a welder.

Jones hit it off with the couple's son, Matt, then 12. They played video games, talked hunting and horsed around in the backyard pool. On Halloween 2002, Jones made up Matt's face like Ace Frehley of the rock band KISS and Matt's friend like KISS bandmate Gene Simmons.

Then, McIntosh says, Jones headed to Gipson's, a popular Douglasville tavern.

Hours later, about midnight, a woman in a Betty Boop costume left Gipson's to go to her car. Minutes later, Tina Mayberry staggered back to the bar. She had been stabbed repeatedly and died two hours later.

No strong suspects were identified until Jones told investigators he did it. Her stepfather, Kenneth Timms, believes him.

"He had new information known only to the killer," Timms said. "She fought furiously. In his confession he said, 'She whipped my ass.' "

Kerry McIntosh, who has since reunited with her husband, believes Jones had it in for women. He egged her husband on when the couple fought. "He'd say derogatory things about women, about putting them in their place, about smacking them down." she said.

One of his favorite jokes, John McIntosh said, was, "What do you tell a woman with two black eyes? Nothing. You done told the bitch twice."

Kerry felt frustrated because people continually stood up for Jones. "His co-workers at Young Refinery used to rag me for dogging John," she said. They even threw him a birthday barbecue. At 5-feet-8 , 170 sinewy pounds, many see him as a "man's man kind of guy," she said.

Jones contends the man admired by his former co-workers is who he really is: "I'm a likable guy; I'm the guy next door," he said in an interview. "I'm the guy who barbecues with you. I'm the guy who you call at 3 a.m. to help pull your car out of a ditch."

But McIntosh saw a seedier side. "He'd go pick up a couple of drunk girls and go to a hotel," he recalled. Jones told him he often picked up prostitutes on Fulton Industrial Boulevard. "The monster came out when he was on meth."

Jones agrees about meth's hold. "It's a sexual drug, an ecstasy; you're on top of the world," Jones said. "It multiplies everything."

In early 2003, Jones brought home a woman from a bar. McIntosh said she left quickly. About 5 a.m., police called. "She said he tried to strangle and rape her," McIntosh recalled. He and Jones went to the station. The woman's story was inconsistent. "I vouched for him," he said. "We didn't hear anything after that."

McIntosh could see Jones wrestling with himself. He was addicted to meth and sex but seemed to be looking for redemption.

He attended church a few times with a co-worker. "He kept saying he wanted a good woman who would cook and clean for him, who would do what he would tell her to do. I told him he wouldn't find that woman in bars."

Love and terror

But it was at Gipson's that Jones found Vicki Freeman. He told her he'd been admiring her from afar. Their first date was dinner at the Olive Garden and a movie.

"He's kind, gentle, very loving," said Freeman. "I mean, he always put me first. Always thought of me. Little cards and 'I love yous' here and there."

They moved into an apartment in Villa Rica in September 2003, and Jones introduced himself to the neighbors.

"We were barbecuing outside, he walked up toting a beer and played with our little dog," said Nita Godfrey.

Days later, Jones met Godfrey's 18-year-old daughter, Brittney. He knew many details about her, which Brittney found odd. She asked her mother why she had told a stranger so much. Her mother said she hadn't.

One day at the apartment complex, Vicki called the police. "She was scared Mr. Chapman was going to hurt her really bad," the report states. She did not press charges.

Police returned when a neighbor called to say Jones was "wigging out." Jones told police he was on a two-week meth bender. He had shot up two grams of meth and was trying to kill himself. A psychological profile prepared for his murder trial says Jones has been in hospitals or mental health facilities at least four times because of drug use. He said he has advanced liver damage from hepatitis C, contracted from intravenous drug use.

Villa Rica police also arrested Jones in October 2003 for allegedly exposing himself to Brittney Godfrey. She told police she was "scared of Mr. Chapman" because he repeatedly came to her apartment, turning the doorknob, trying to get inside.

He'd appear in the morning, after her mother left for work. "One day he'd be at the front door, the next day, the back," she said. Some mornings he sat outside his apartment drinking beer and talking to himself.

Later, the Godfreys said, they found a box outside Brittney's bedroom window. It contained rope, tape and binoculars.

The law slips up

Jones worried his luck had run out. "I'd get picked up in Georgia and would be sweating; they'll find me out now," he later confided to McRae. "But then they'd come in and say, 'OK, John, you've made bond.' "

Three times after arrests in Douglas and Carroll counties in 2003 and 2004, the FBI's national computer database failed to detect that Jones, posing as Chapman, was wanted. The FBI is investigating the foul-up.

Jones laughs about his good fortune. "That little fingerprint system they have is a joke," he said.

The mistake may have been fatal. In fact, his alleged rampage accelerated.

Two months after the last botched check, Amanda Greenwell disappeared from Arbor Village, a mobile home park near Douglasville. Jones and his girlfriend lived in a nearby trailer.

Amanda's body was found a month later, in April 2004, in nearby woods. She had been stabbed and her neck was broken.

That same month, Patrice Endres, the Forsyth County hairdresser, disappeared from her shop. Jones later told detectives he got lost driving and happened upon her isolated business. He asked for directions, then took advantage of the situation. He said he kidnapped her and brought her to Douglas County, where he raped and killed her and then dumped her body by a creek. She has not been found.

Sgt. McRae doesn't think Jones found Endres by happenstance.

"He's a stalker; he gets excited about his victims," said McRae, who has spent hours talking to Jones. "He'll talk about killing a person like it's a 10-point buck."

"He grew to enjoy [the killing]," added McRae. "It was as addictive as the meth."

In early 2004, Jones often called McIntosh at odd hours. "He was going downhill fast. He'd say, 'John, I [screwed] up again.' I assumed it was because of drugs. But I wonder if he was talking about something else."

Telltale phone calls

In September 2004, Jones saw an opportunity back in Mobile. Hurricane Ivan was coming, and he figured there would be construction work when it was over. "I wanted to come down here, live on the beach and live happily ever after," he said.

He drove to Mobile, and phoned Vicki Freeman back in Georgia. It was Friday, Sept. 17, and Jones told her he had landed a job. "I told him how proud I was of him," Freeman recalled. "I told him to get us a place to live, and I'd be joining him."

Jones made the call with a phone belonging to Lisa Nichols, a 45-year-old woman who lived next to his old boss, Bentley. Shortly afterward, she was raped, shot and set on fire.

Two days later, Mobile County detectives arrested Jones. Later, he phoned his mother from the jail. Authorities traced the call and discovered his true identity.

Detectives McRae and Burch laugh when asked how they control interviews with Jones. "He controls them; we cannot control him," McRae said. "Nobody, absolutely nobody will ever get the truth. He sugarcoats everything. He just runs all over the place."

Kim Bentley now wakes up terrified, thinking what could have happened to her and her teenage stepdaughter.

Bentley said Jones "has been adamant me and him had a relationship," which she denies. "Every woman he came in contact with — [he believed] they wanted him. In his mind it wasn't rape if they wanted him."

Like others who took Jones in, Bentley feels violated. "I'll never think the same about anybody," she said. "He seemed like he believed he was somebody else. Maybe he wanted a new life but he couldn't get away from who he really was."

McIntosh has much the same feeling of betrayal. "I let this monster into my house," he said.

McIntosh believes Jones' rambling confessions are a way to regain a glint of the power and sexual satisfaction he once felt.

"I think he enjoys telling it to police; they tell me they can see it in his eyes. He's reliving it."

As for Jones, he talks of winning his case on appeal. He now denies he killed anybody in Georgia or anyplace else.

"One day I'll be a free man," he said. "I'll write me a book and laugh my ass off."

 
 

Suspected Serial Killer Jeremy Jones, Sentenced To Death In Alabama Killing

December 01, 2005

MOBILE, Ala. (AP) -- Suspected serial killer Jeremy Jones of Miami was sentenced to death Thursday for the rape and murder of an Alabama woman.

Jones is also a suspect in the 1995 deaths of Danny and Kathy Freeman in northeastern Oklahoma and the disappearance of 16-year-old Ashley Freeman and Loria Bible. Ashley Freeman was the couple's daughter and Bible was a friend.

The Freeman couple were found dead in their burned mobile home in Welch in December 1999 and the two girls were missing. Authorities say Jones has told them he took the girls to rural southeastern Kansas, killed them and dumped their bodies in an abandoned mine but their bodies have never been found.

Jones also is charged with murders in Georgia and Louisiana.

 
 

Jeremy Jones heads to court to learn his fate for capital murder

December 01, 2005

(Mobile, Ala.) Nov. 30 -- Sometime Thursday morning, a 32-year-old former construction worker convicted of capital murder charges in the 2004 death of a Mobile County woman, will learn his fate. That's when Mobile County Circuit Court Judge Charles Graddick is scheduled to pronounce sentence for accused serial killer Jeremy Jones.

In October, a Mobile County jury recommended Jones of Miami, Oklahoma, be given the death penalty for the rape, shooting, and burning of the body of 44-year-old Lisa Nichols of Turnerville. He also has been officially charged with two murder cases in Georgia and Louisiana.

NBC 15 News has learned Alabama Attorney General Troy King intends to personally present prosecution arguments in favor of giving Jones the death penalty during Thursday's court hearing. "He was a monster," said King, whose office prosecuted Jones. "He was able to lie without remorse, kill without remorse. The only remorse I ever saw him show was for himself, which shows what kind of man he is."

Law enforcement officials say Jones' road to becoming a serial killer started in 1992 with the stabbing death of Jennifer Judd in Baxter Springs, Kansas, then in 1996 with the shooting deaths of Daniel Oakley and Doris Harris, in rural Delaware County. Jones says he then drugged Justin Hutchings in Pitcher, Oklahoma in 1999.

Three months later, he says he shot Danny and Kathy Freeman in Welch, Oklahoma and also shot Ashley Freeman and Lauria Bible and dumped their bodies in Kansas.

He moved to Georgia and says he stabbed Tina Mayberry to death in 2002, followed by Katherine Collins in New Orleans who was strangled and stabbed in 2004.

A few months later, he says he also strangled and stabbed Amanda Greenwell in Georgia. The next month, he says he murdered Patrice Endres in Georgia. Then, a few months later, he shot and set on fire, Lisa Nichols in Alabama.

This year, authorities searched a pond in Chickasaw for bodies of some missing prostitutes and searched mines in Kansas for the bodies of Freeman and Bible, but found nothing.

Police think there are even more bodies out there. Mobile County Sheriff Jack Tillman: "There's other cases that fit his profile, not just here, but everywhere he roamed around."

Federal and county officials say Jones was in the area of each crime and knew information that only someone closely involved could have known.

If Judge Graddick agrees with the jury’s recommendation, Jones will immediately be transferred to death row at Holman Prison in Atmore.

 
 

Killer Jones says he has hepatitis C

November 28, 2005

On Oct. 7, a Mobile County jury recommended that suspected serial killer and convicted murderer Jeremy Bryan Jones receive the death penalty.

But Jones says he may not live long enough to be killed and that ill health may prevent him from being able to help investigators solve other crimes.

According to the 32-year-old drifter from Miami, Okla., he was diagnosed with hepatitis C, a potentially fatal disease, about four years ago while working at an oil refinery in Douglasville, Ga.

Although hepatitis C can be fatal, it's also possible for an infected person to live into their old age even without treatment, said Melissa Tucker, a registered nurse and director of epidemiology at the Mobile County Health Department.

The ability to survive the disease often depends on whether chronic liver disease develops, whether the patient contracts another illness and whether the person drinks alcohol, Tucker said.

"With everybody it's different," she said.

Jones said that when he learned he had the disease he did not know exactly how long he had been infected. Jones told the Mobile Register recently by telephone from Mobile County Metro Jail that he has asked to be treated, but that jail officials have refused his request.

"The jail has never offered to treat me," the condemned man contended.

Christina Bowersox, Mobile County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman, said she could not respond directly to Jones' allegation as it relates to a medical matter and jail officials by law must keep such information confidential.

Bowersox did say, however, that "no inmate is refused medical care at Metro Jail."

Jones agreed to sign a waiver allowing the Register to review his health records. As of Wednesday, the records had not been received from Correctional Medical Services, the St. Louis company that handles inmate health care at the jail.

On Oct. 26, Mobile County Circuit Court jurors found Jones guilty of capital murder in the September 2004 rape and slaying of Lisa Nichols of Turnerville. Judge Charles Graddick is scheduled to decide Dec. 1 whether to agree with the jury's recommendation that Jones be sentenced to death or whether to sentence him to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Besides confessing to killing Nichols, Jones has admitted killing a dozen other men, women and children in Kansas, Oklahoma, Georgia and Louisiana, according to investigators. Jones has been charged with first-degree murder in the slaying of a New Orleans prostitute and murder in the slaying of a teenage girl in Georgia.

Given the additional cases, Jones' health could be a factor not only in his ability to live long enough to be executed, but in his ability to stand trial and to work with law enforcement officers in other states.

Jones said it was a doctor in Georgia who told him four years ago that if he didn't get treatment for the disease and kept using drugs and alcohol, he would be dead in a matter of years.

As a result of the many appeals available to a condemned person, it's not unusual to spend 15 years or more on Alabama's death row while awaiting execution.

"They want the governor to sign my death warrant, and if they don't treat my hepatitis I could die in a couple of years," Jones said. "That's f----d up. It's just suicide two years down the road."

Tucker said that even if hepatitis C develops into chronic liver disease, there is only a slim -- 1- to 5-percent -- chance that the person may die.

Symptoms of the disease include abdominal pain, loss of appetite, fatigue, dark urine, nausea and in some causes jaundice, or a yellowing of the skin.

Tucker said the disease most often is transmitted to another person by the sharing of hypodermic needles or razor blades, and from a mother to her baby before it is born. She said unprotected sex is the least likely way of transmitting the virus.

Hepatitis C is a common ailment among prisoners.

The Centers for Disease Control estimates that about 30 percent of prisoners suffer from Hepatitis C and says that studies in some states have shown the number as high as 42 percent.

Jones has been held without bail at Mobile County Metro Jail since being arrested a few days after Nichols' mutilated and burned body was discovered inside a mobile home in the Turnerville community of north Mobile County.

She had been shot three times in the head and raped, according to testimony during his October trial.

Habib Yazdi, one of the two court-appointed attorneys who defended Jones during the Nichols murder trial, said recently that Jones told him that he suffered from hepatitis C. The lawyer said he could not confirm, however, that Jones had been denied treatment.

Don Valeska, a prosecutor with the Alabama attorney general's office who helped convict Jones, said recently he was not aware that Jones may or not be infected with hepatitis C.

He declined comment on whether he thought Jones' health problems would have any bearing on the other murder charges Jones is facing.

Jones' mother, Jeanne Beard, said recently by telephone from her Oklahoma home that she was aware that her son was diagnosed with having hepatitis C while working at the Douglasville oil refinery.

Beard said her son had been "feeling bad" while working at the refinery and gone to see a doctor, who diagnosed him as being infected with the virus that causes hepatitis C. If Metro Jail officials are refusing to treat Jones, it's "unfair," his mother said.

"He needs treatment, yes he does," Beard said. "If not treated, his liver will get worse."

Jones is charged with killing New Orleans prostitute Katherine Collins in February 2004. According to New Orleans police, Jones has confessed to stabbing and strangling the 47-year-old woman and dumping her body in a vacant lot near the French Quarter.

An article published in the New Orleans Times-Picayune said that while New Orleans detectives were questioning Jones about the slaying he "began furiously picking at sores on his face and neck, symptoms of his advanced case of hepatitis C."

Tucker, the registered nurse, said she was not aware of sores on a person's face and neck being symptoms of the disease.

 
 

Suspected serial killer grants interview to national media

November 23, 2005

(Mobile, Ala.) November 22- As he was escorted from his jail cell to the sheriff's office across the street, Jeremy Jones was tight lipped about his upcoming interview with Dateline NBC.

The crew crowded a room on the second floor of the Mobile County Sheriff's Office with television equipment in order to interview the suspected serial killer. Jones is either charged with or suspected of killing at least a dozen people in four states.

"The interest we want to portray is the victim," said Dateline Producer Marsha Bartel. "They have a story to tell and they need to be heard. He's obviously a part of it, but we want to really tell the story of the families and the victims in this case."

At this point, the only victim Jones has been convicted of killing is Lisa Nichols of Turnerville. Aside from the sensationalism of a suspected serial killer, Dateline correspondent Victoria Corderi says there's another element to this tale that makes it a hot topic for a national audience. "It's a tragic story, made even more tragic by the fact that the FBI botched the fingerprint I-D and four more women died as a result of that," said Corderi. In May, the FBI admitted it twice failed to match fingerprints after Jones was arrested for minor offenses in 2003 and 2004. The mistake allowed him to get away from authorities in Georgia.

While Mobile County Sheriff's Detectives don't expect Jones' statements in a media interview to crack any cases, his appearance on television can be valuable. "I would say in a way that it helps us is some of the exposure will generate calls from other agencies which have open cases," said Mobile County Sheriff's Detective Paul Burch.

The Dateline special on Jeremy Jones has not been scheduled yet, but the producer says it will most likely air some time next year.

 
 

Families Await Jones' Confessions

November 02, 2005

More details about just how many women in Metro Atlanta fell prey to convicted killer Jeremy Jones in recent years may be revealed Wednesday.

The revelations come about a week after a jury in Mobile, Ala., found Jones guilty of capital murder in the September 2004 rape and shooting death of 44-year-old Lisa Marie Nichols. Jones attacked Nichols at her home in rural Turnerville, Ala., during a blackout caused by a hurricane.

Jones’s sentencing is scheduled for December 1 and could lead to the death penalty, as recommended by the jury.

With that conviction, detectives in Alabama are expected Wednesday to release further details about Jones’ alleged confessions to killing 14 other women, including a handful of prostitutes in Metro Atlanta, a hairdresser in Forsyth County and a 16-year-old girl in Douglasville, Ga., authorities said.

Hand-in-hand with Despite Jones’ alleged confessions is also official word that he later recanted some, if not most, of them.

Atlanta homicide detectives say they are still waiting to interview Jones about the five prostitutes that he supposedly has confessed to killing in the metro area. Meanwhile, the families of three other women in Georgia told 11Alive News they want proof that Jones, a drifter from Oklahoma, murdered their loved ones, as well.

“You just don’t know how good a person she was, how fun she was and how full of life she was,” said William Mayberry, the brother of one of Jones’ alleged victims – 38-year-old Tina Mayberry.

“And, for that to be gone, that’s devastating to us. It hurts,” he said.

William Mayberry told 11Alive News his family has relived Tina’s murder every day for the last three years. Police say someone stabbed the 38-year-old woman to death after leaving a bar in Douglasville, Ga., on October 31, 2002.

Among Jones’ confessions may be revealing his hand in Mayberry’s unsolved murder. Detectives said they had to wait for Jones’ conviction in Mobile before releasing such information to the general public.

Jones may also help shed more light on the murder of 16-year-old Amanda Greenwell of Douglasville. Authorities in Georgia have only been able to formally charge Jones with Greenwell’s murder.

Jones is alleged to have played a role in the disappearance of Patrice, Endres, a hairdresser from Forsyth County, in April 2004. She’s never been found, police said.

William Mayberry, like other victims’ loved ones, says he wants the person responsible for killing Tina Mayberry to own up to the crime.

“We don’t want somebody just to say, you know, he confessed to doing her death or her murder. We don’t want that,” he said. “We want to prove that he’s done it. That way it gives us closure.”

Douglas County District Attorney David McDade says he plans to prosecute Jones for Greenwell’s murder, but has yet to make a decision regarding the Mayberry case.

The names of the slain prostitutes have not been revealed to the public.

 
 

Alabama jury recommends death for accused serial killer

October 28, 2005

A jury Thursday voted 10-2 in recommending the death penalty for serial killing suspect Jeremy Bryan Jones for his capital murder conviction in the 2004 rape and shooting death of a Mobile County woman while he was high on drugs.

Circuit Judge Charles Graddick set sentencing for Dec. 1. The jury had the option of recommending life in prison without parole over execution by lethal injection. The judge isn't bound by the jury's decision.

Jones, 32, of Miami, Okla., was convicted Wednesday of rape, burglary, sexual abuse and kidnapping during capital murder, clearing the way for his possible prosecution in separate slayings in Georgia and New Orleans.

Investigators say he may be linked to 10 other killings.

In statements to sheriff's investigators, Jones admitted killing Lisa Marie Nichols, 44, of rural Turnerville on Sept. 17, 2004 while high on methamphetamines. In his trial testimony, however, he blamed the victim's neighbor for the murder, but prosecutors punched holes in that account. The neighbor died in August.

Nichols' daughter, Jennifer Murphy of Theodore, hugged one of the prosecutors after hearing the jury's penalty decision.

"This was our goal. We've accomplished our goal," she said. "The hard part is over."

"If ever anybody deserved the death penalty it's Jeremy Jones," said Assistant Attorney General William Dill.

Jones, wearing a suit and tie, stood between his two attorneys and showed little emotion to the jury's decision.

Before being led away to jail, he placed his fist over his heart and reached out to his girlfriend Vicki Freeman of Douglasville, Ga., who was seated nearby.

Defense attorney Greg Hughes had urged the jury to recommend life without parole, arguing that Jones is "sick" and a victim of a chaotic upbringing.

"He has a spark in him of humanity," Hughes said. "Death is not proper punishment for someone who is sick."

At the time of his Alabama arrest on Sept. 21, 2004, Jones, who was using an alias, was wanted in Oklahoma for rape and failure to register in 1997 as a sex offender. He also had 1992 burglary and theft charges in Missouri.

Assistant Attorney General Corey Maze told jurors that the aggravating circumstances _ burglary, kidnapping and rape _ warranted a death sentence for killing a "hard-working" woman who had raised two children by herself and was helping raise two grandchildren.

"He violated her home. He violated her freedom. He violated her body. He didn't stop there. He violated her soul," Maze said.

Forensic psychologist Dr. Daniel Koch, a defense witness, said he tested Jones and concluded that Jones had untreated Attention Deficit Disorder and was prone to go into fits of rage.

Dr. Doug McKeown, the prosecution psychologist, found that long-term and chronic drug abuse contributed to Jones' anti-social behavior. But he concluded that at the time of the Nichols slaying, Jones was able to distinguish right from wrong.

Nichols, who lived alone, was shot three times in the head, splashed with gasoline and burned, according to testimony in the Mobile County Circuit Court trial that began Oct. 17. The attack occurred a day after Hurricane Ivan struck the area, knocking out electrical services to the victim's rural home.

Jones also is charged in separate murders in New Orleans and Georgia and has been described by investigators as a serial killing suspect, who could be linked to at least 10 other murders, including the April 15, 2004 disappearance of metro Atlanta hairdresser Patrice Endres.

Jones is charged with murder in the death of Amanda Greenwell, a 16-year-old in Douglasville, Ga., whose remains were found in April 2004, and Katherine Collins, a 45-year-old New Orleans woman whose body was found in February 2004.

In a recorded phone call to a former friend, Jones admitted killing Nichols while high on drugs

"It was like a nightmare, I was in a movie," Jones said in the Dec. 10 call from jail. "I was higher than I had ever been in my whole life."

 
 

Alabama jury convicts serial killing suspect in rape-murder

October 26, 2005

MOBILE, Ala. - Serial killing suspect Jeremy Bryan Jones was convicted Wednesday of capital murder in the 2004 rape and shooting death of a Mobile County woman attacked in her home during a hurricane blackout.

A jury convicted the Oklahoma man of rape, burglary, sexual abuse and kidnapping during capital murder. The verdict opens the door for Jones to be prosecuted in separate slayings in Georgia and New Orleans, and possibly 10 other killings, according to investigators.

Jurors deliberated about two hours in reaching the verdict. On Thursday, jurors will recommend either death or life in prison without parole. Circuit Judge Charles Graddick, who is not bound by the jury's recommended penalty, will sentence Jones later.

In statements to authorities, Jones, 32, of Miami, Okla., admitted killing Lisa Marie Nichols, 44, of rural Turnerville on Sept. 17, 2004 while high on methamphetamines. But his version of that night changed three months ago with the death of the victim's neighbor. Jones shifted the blame to the neighbor, saying the two of them together entered the victim's home.

Jones showed no emotion as the verdicts were read. Nichols' daughter, Jennifer Murphy, and other family members wept quietly.

Murphy said she will always have a "place in my heart" for the attorney general's office and the sheriff's office who brought Jones to justice.

"I believe it's the outcome we'd have all along. We've got justice of Lisa Nichols today," said sheriff's detective Paul Burch.

Prosecutors scoffed at Jones' changed testimony.

"Blame the dead guy. A guy who can't come in here and defend himself," Assistant Attorney General William Dill told jurors in closing arguments. "It's one more vicious lie."

Dill said the truth is Jones "hates women."

"He's a coward," Dill thundered. "A vicious murderer."

The body of the slain woman who lived alone was splashed with gasoline and burned, according to testimony in the Mobile County Circuit Court trial that began Oct. 17.

Defense attorney Greg Hughes said Jones may have "covered up" the killing.

"That's not capital murder," Hughes said.

Hughes claims investigators "manipulated" Jones into confessing while he was "messed up" on drugs.

By giving statements, Jones felt he could "improve his living situation," Hughes said. He said Jones was removed from his cell many times, taken off suicide watch and given food and phone access in exchange for details on the killing.

"They were slicking him," Hughes said.

Jones gave his version of the murder in testimony Monday and Tuesday, but his account didn't match the prosecution witnesses' chronology of events.

Jones also is charged in separate murders in New Orleans and Georgia and has been described by investigators as a serial killing suspect, who could be linked to at least 10 other murders, including the disappearance of metro Atlanta hairdresser Patrice Endres.

Rob Endres said he attended the final days of Jones' trial partly to support the Nichols' family and to get a better look at Jones. Endres' wife disappeared mysteriously on April 15, 2004, in Forsyth County.

Earlier this year, authorities there said Jones confessed to killing her and dumping her body in a creek.

"I don't know why they haven't charged him," Endres said. He said Jones had given police details of his wife's abduction.

Endres said he hopes Jones will say more about Patrice Endres once the Mobile trial ends. Endres said his wife's body probably will never be found, but he hopes to have some "justice for her and many others vicariously through this trial."

Jones is charged with murder in the death of Amanda Greenwell, a 16-year-old in Douglasville, Ga., whose remains were found in April 2004, and Katherine Collins, a 45-year-old New Orleans woman whose body was found in February 2004.

Greenwell's father, Rick Greenwell, also attended part of the Jones trial.

State prosecutors told jurors that Jones arrived unannounced at the home of Nichols' neighbor only days before Hurricane Ivan hitting the area Sept. 16, 2004, knocking out electrical services.

After Nichols' was killed, Jones returned to the neighbor's home, showered and watched hunting videos before going to bed.

Jones left the charred body for the victim's family to find, Dill said. She was shot three times in the head. Dill held a mannequin's head before the jury with pointers showing the .25-caliber bullet entries.

Jones, in a sport coat and tie, sat between his two attorneys, arms folding on the table, occasionally glancing at his mother, Jeanne Beard of Miami, Okla., seated in the courtroom next to Jones' girlfriend, Vicki Freeman of Douglasville, Ga.

Besides Jones' many statements, the strongest evidence in the Nichols slaying was blood on Jones' clothing that matched the victim's blood, prosecutors said.

Assistant Attorney General Don Valeska, in his closing, read the jury the taped Dec. 10, 2004 phone call between Jones and a former friend, Mark Bentley.

Jones admitted killing Nichols while high on drugs.

"It was like a nightmare, I was in a movie," Jones said in the call from jail. "I was higher than I had ever been in my whole life."

Valeska said that was not a confession manipulated by investigators.

"There is no reasonable doubt in this case," Valeska said.

He told jurors if they wanted to see evil, look at Jones - "a coward, a moral pervert and purveyor of drugs."

 
 

Jones admits killing Mobile County woman

October 21, 2005

MOBILE - The jury in the capital murder trial of accused serial killer Jeremy Bryan Jones, who is also a suspect in the disappearance of a Forsyth County woman, heard a recorded telephone conversation Friday in which he admitted killing a Mobile County woman while high on drugs.

"It was like a nightmare, I was in a movie,'' Jones said in the Dec. 10, 2004 recorded conversation from jail. After hearing it played to the jury, Jones wiped his eyes with a handkerchief as the courtroom fell silent.

Bentley, a prosecution witness, testified Friday morning that he had allowed Jones, a 32-year-old construction worker from Miami, Okla., to stay in Bentley's home when Jones arrived unannounced days before Hurricane Ivan struck in September 2004.

Jones had worked for Bentley several years earlier.

Nichols lived alone in a mobile home near Bentley in the rural Turnerville community, which lost electrical power during the hurricane.

Nichols, 44, was raped and shot three times in the head on Sept. 17, 2004. Her body was burned and later found by her two daughters and a son-in-law.

Jones also is charged with murder in the death of Amanda Greenwell, a 16-year-old in Douglasville, Ga., whose remains were found in April 2004, and Katherine Collins, a 45-year-old New Orleans woman whose body was found in February 2004.

In testimony, Bentley described how they entered the smoke-filled home with a flashlight and discovered the body.

"I was freaked out,'' Bentley said. "She was burned up. It just about killed me.''

Jones had remained behind in the Bentley home and didn't go to the crime scene.

"He asked me what did it look like over there,'' Bentley recalled.

In the Dec. 10 taped statement, Jones said he didn't know why he did it.

"I was higher than I had ever been in my whole life,'' Jones said.

Bentley told Jones, "I thought I knew you, but I don't.''

"You knew me. You just didn't know me on drugs,'' Jones replied.

When arrested Sept. 21, 2004, Jones was using the alias John Paul Chapman, later determined to be Missouri prisoner.

Jones' attorney has conceded that Jones had a history of abusing methamphetamines, but argued that police had arrested the wrong man.

Jones' girlfriend, Vicki Freeman of Douglasville, Ga., his mother, Jeanne Beard of Miami, Okla., and several other relatives attended Friday's court session.

Jones mouthed "I love you'' to his mother seated in the courtroom for the first time Friday. Beard said she believes her son is innocent. "I only have two sons,'' she said. "He's a good boy.''

Jones has also been charged with murder in separate slayings in Georgia and New Orleans. An investigator said Friday that about 10 other unsolved slayings have possible links to Jones and the number could be 20.

Mobile County sheriff's detective Paul Burch said some of the other cases without charges apparently involve slain Atlanta prostitutes.

Authorities have said Jones confessed to or is being investigated in the deaths of a couple and the disappearance of two teenage girls in Oklahoma, as well as the killing of another woman in Georgia.

Jones is considered the prime suspect in the disappearance of Patrice Endres, who disappeared from her hair salon in North Forsyth County last year.

 
 

Cameras blocked by Jones

October 17, 2005

Suspected serial killer Jeremy Jones, eager to grant media interviews and never shy about appearing on camera while jailed, has blocked the presence of cameras in the courtroom when he goes to trial today in Mobile, Ala., for murder.

Jones, 32, grew up in Oklahoma and remains a suspect in at least two unsolved murder cases there.

In Alabama, he is accused of forcing his way into the home of 45-year-old Lisa Nichols, raping her, shooting her three times in the head and setting her body on fire in a bathroom of her home in Turnerville on Sept. 17, 2004.

Jones opposed a media request for cameras in the courtroom for the trial that starts today in Mobile County Circuit Court, further angering the victim's family.

While Circuit Judge Charles Graddick agreed to exclude cameras from the courtroom at Jones' request, Graddick denied the defense a change of venue for the trial after reviewing results of a poll of potential jurors that was meant to assess the impact of pretrial media coverage on Jones' right to a fair trial.

Two mental evaluations of Jones were conducted this year, and the judge has ruled that he is mentally competent to stand trial.

Most damaging to Jones may be some videotaped statements he made to investigators in Alabama. Against defense attorneys' objections, the judge has ruled that much of those taped statements can be admitted as evidence in the trial.

"We think we have pretty good forensic stuff, too," said Don Valeska, the assistant state attorney general who is prosecuting the case. He would not discuss what the forensic evidence entails before the trial, which he expects to last a week.

Jones has always maintained his innocence in any murders to members of the media. He told the Globe in a telephone interview earlier this year that another man who was staying at the same residence where he was living in Mobile County killed Nichols. Jones claimed to have come across the murder just after it took place and to have seen the other man with "a smoking gun."

Besides the Alabama case, Jones has been charged with the murders of a prostitute in New Orleans and a girl he lived near in Georgia before moving to Alabama.

Alabama investigators say Jones confessed to at least 13 murders in six states after his arrest in Mobile County. He also indicated knowledge of the murders of several prostitutes in Southern states, they say.

Oklahoma and Kansas authorities in late June searched an area of old mining pits and sinkholes southwest of Galena, Kan., based on information Jones provided Oklahoma investigators during two days of jail interviews in Alabama in January.

They were looking for the bodies of Ashley Freeman and Lauria Bible, 16-year-old girls from the Welch, Okla., area who disappeared in December 1999 on a night when the Freeman girl's parents, Danny and Kathy Freeman, were murdered and their trailer home was set on fire.

Craig County (Okla.) Sheriff Jimmie Sooter says Jones confessed to killing the Freemans, and told Sooter and an agent from the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation that he took the girls to Kansas, killed them and threw their bodies in a mining pit.

The searchers in June were unable to locate any remains of the two girls in the area Jones had indicated. Sooter said recently that he remains uncertain what to think of Jones' "confession" to the Freeman murders and the girls' disappearance.

"He gave us a good description of where he did the crime, the area and so on," Sooter said. "But there's a lot of places there that look the same."

Sooter still thinks Jones is a person of interest in the unsolved case. He called the information he provided "very convincing."

"I still think he had something to do with it, even though we didn't find anything," Sooter said. "They still could be somewhere over there."

He said the search triggered various new leads, including one that led searchers to a mining pit north of Picher, Okla., one week after the search in Galena. That was a man-made air shaft 10 feet in diameter and filled with water. Sooter said cadaver dogs showed some interest in the hole, but it was too dangerous to send divers down.

Besides the Freeman murders, Jones also reportedly confessed to the unsolved murders of Danny Oakley, 37, and Doris Harris, 40, in 1996 in Delaware County, Okla. Delaware County authorities have been mum about what they might be doing to verify or rule out Jones' involvement in that case.

 

 

 
 
 
 
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