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Jealous killer gets life in Big Cat gas station murder

Chambler Saxton, center, enters Superior Court to hear the verdict in his murder trial. Saxon was found guilty of malice murder and three other counts in the July 2014 shooting death of John Shelby Jones.
Chambler Saxton, center, enters Superior Court to hear the verdict in his murder trial. Saxon was found guilty of malice murder and three other counts in the July 2014 shooting death of John Shelby Jones. rtrimarchi@ledger-enquirer.com

The jealous boyfriend convicted of murdering John Shelby Jones outside the Big Cat gas station on Buena Vista Road will spend the rest of his life in prison.

Superior Court Judge Maureen Gottfried has sentenced Chandler Saxton to life without parole after a jury convicted him of murder on July 21.

Testimony during his trial showed Saxton had been dating a woman who had a child with Jones, and Saxton threatened him after Jones said he and his former lover would always have a history.

“I can make you disappear,” Saxton told Jones, prosecutors said.

The two men would see each other when Jones came to see his child, authorities said.

Their last encounter was July 31, 2014, outside the 2997 Buena Vista Road gas station, where Jones was pumping gas into a container for his generator. A friend had given him a ride there.

Saxton, who was inside, saw Jones come into the store to pay for the gas and go back out. He followed Jones out, and waited about 25 seconds before approaching the gas pumps.

As recorded on store security cameras, Saxton walked over to Jones and initiated a brief exchange before he pulled a pistol and fired four shots. One hit Jones in the chest and another penetrated his left buttocks, abdomen and right leg.

Saxton turned and jogged away before Jones pulled out a gun and started firing wildly as he sank into a sitting position at the rear of his friend’s car, then toppled over as blood soaked his clothes.

Police later collected 16 shell casings at the crime scene, a busy spot at Columbus “spider web” intersection where multiple roads meet. When Saxton first fired his .40-caliber pistol, the barrel was only inches from the head of a 13-year-old boy who was checking the price on the gas pumps. Other customers had passed by the two combatants right before the shooting started.

The jury deliberated about five hours before finding Saxton guilty of malice or intentional murder, felony murder for killing Jones while committing the felony of aggravated assault, aggravated assault and using a firearm to commit a felony.

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