Barry Lee Jones, convicted in November of murdering a 7-month-old, was sentenced Tuesday to life in prison without the chance for parole, court records show.
Jones was 20 years old when he was convicted of murdering 7-month-old Kevin Christopher Jones on Dec. 11, 2007. After delivering their verdict of guilt, jurors heard evidence on whether Jones should face the death penalty. They returned after 20 minutes with their 7 to 5 recommendation on life without parole, Chief Assistant District Attorney Robbie Treese has said.
At least seven jurors had to vote for life without parole to give the recommendation. At least 10 had to vote for death, Treese said.
Jones was accused of using the 7-month-old’s body in an attack against his stepdaughter. The prosecution’s theory on what happened is based on physical evidence that shows Jones attacked both children, Treese said. According to the girl who was 3 years old at the time, “‘Daddy hit me with Kevin,’” the prosecutor added.
In his sentencing order, Circuit Court Judge Jacob A. Walker III said that Jones was 18 at the time of the crime, that he had no adult criminal history and had significant family and community support.
“The court strongly considered overriding the jury’s recommendation,” Walker says. “However, based on the relevant case law, the court believes such a decision would be reversed.”