Jones sentenced to life for 2000 murder of his mother

By Staff
Melissa Dozier-Cason, FCT Writer
A Russellville man was sentenced to life in prison on Wednesday for the 2000 murder of his mother.
Circuit Judge Sharon Hindman Hester ruled that Henry Roger Jones, 36, is to serve a life sentence for felony murder, and a 25-year sentence for first-degree burglary.
Hester also ruled that Jones' sentence would run consecutive to the 25-year sentence he is now serving for a Morgan County robbery, which was a major concern for the prosecution.
During the sentencing hearing, District Attorney Joey Rushing told the court that making the sentence concurrent with the time Jones was already serving would be like saying it's okay to commit a crime if you were already serving time.
The state also asked the court to make the sentence consecutive for the safety for the public at large.
"There is no more serious crime than murder under Alabama law, and for that reason we ask that the maximum sentence be imposed," Doug Evans, assistant district attorney said during court proceedings.
Defense attorney John Benn presented a motion for a new trial during the hearing, saying that the prosecution's case did not make sense because the missing .22 rifle was ruled out as a possible murder weapon, and that all evidence was circumstantial.
Hester denied Benn's motion for a new trial.
Prior to sentencing, Judge Hester heard from the victim's family.
Keith Jones, brother of the defendant and son to the victim, asked the judge to show leniency for his brother because their family is in shambles.
"We don't have much of a family left any more," Keith Jones said. "I just ask for leniency, and I promise that when my brother gets out [of prison], I will make sure that he is a good American."
Jones' sister, Lynn, was unable to attend the sentencing because she was involved in a serious car accident a few weeks ago, and is recovering from those injuries, Rushing said.
"We are pleased with the sentence because we feel it is appropriate for the crime," Rushing said.
During his statement to the court, Jones said that he loved his mother, and that he did not kill her.
Jones will be eligible for parole in 30 to 35 years, Rushing said.
Jones was convicted in December of killing his mother in January 2000 with two shots: one shot to the back and one shot to the head.'

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