Jury considers death penalty for Fla. man who killed wife and 4 children

A jury will decide the fate of a Florida man who beat his wife to death with a baseball bat in 2019 before murdering their four young children over several days and dumping their bodies in tote bags.

Michael Wayne Jones, 41, has already pleaded guilty to the shocking murders and the panel will now decide whether to sentence him to life in prison or to the death in his ongoing criminal case.

Defense attorneys point to Jones’ deeply dysfunctional upbringing as the reason for the reduced sentence, while prosecutors are pushing for his execution.

Jones told arresting officers the horrific rampage began in July 2019 after his wife, Casei Jones, accused him of infidelity after looking through his phone.

He told police that during an escalating argument at their Marion County home, she pushed him with a baseball bat and he angrily beat her to death with it.

The four children – two of whom he had fathered – were asleep at this point.

Michael Wayne Jones admitted to killing his wife and their four children.
Marion County Sheriff’s Office

Jones wrapped his wife’s body in blankets, placed it in a large shopping bag, and placed it in a closet.

To make it appear that she was still alive, he used her cellphone to post articles on her social media accounts, according to the Ocala Star Banner.

The following day, Jones took his two stepchildren, Preston Bowers, 4, and Cameron Bowers, 8, to stay with their father while he frantically hatched a plan to cover up his wife’s murder.

He then dropped off the two girls he shared with his wife, Mercalli Jones, 2, and Aiyana Jones, 11 months, at his spouse’s mother.

But as the school year approached, Jones worried that the boys’ absence might raise questions from Fruitland Park Elementary staff.

Michael and Casey Jones.
The jury will decide whether to sentence him to death or life imprisonment.
Marion County Sheriff’s Office

A week before they were due for class, Jones dragged Cameron out of his bed and fatally strangled him on the floor, he told detectives. He then placed the child’s body in a suitcase.

The next day, Jones said, he choked Preston with a zip tie before drowning him in a bathtub and then stuffing his body into a suitcase.

A few days later, Jones told detectives, he was driving with his two young daughters and parked outside a police station to turn himself in.

But he eventually backed out of the plan, opting instead to drown both tots in a bathtub and put both bodies in a single tote bag.

Shocked investigators asked Jones why he killed the children.

“I don’t know, it just all came together and it seemed like the way out,” the Martin County Sheriff’s Office documents said.

Michael Wayne Jones is accused of killing his wife and their four children.
Casei Jones was beaten to death with a baseball bat.
Marion County Sheriff’s Office

Jones was eventually arrested on September 15, 2019 after he was involved in a car accident and a deputy responded at the scene.

The officer immediately noticed the overpowering stench of a decomposing body and Jones told him to have handcuffs ready.

Investigators found his wife’s body in a shopping bag in his minivan. Jones then led detectives to the children’s bodies, which he had dumped in a secluded wooded area.

Michael Wayne Jones killed his wife and their four children.
Michael Wayne Jones has pleaded guilty to the shocking murders.

His defense attorneys argue that his traumatic upbringing – including molestation by his father and abuse by an abusive stepfather – damaged his mental health from an early age. These factors, they argue, call for life in prison rather than death.

They allege that Jones – who also has three children from a previous marriage – fell into a psychotic spiral that culminated in the murders.

But prosecutors dismiss that defense, arguing that the heinous killings warranted his execution.

A sister of Casei Jones testified at the trial last week and tearfully told the court that her nephew Cameron was a “sweet, loving little fella,” according to the outlet. She also described her two sisters as “princesses.”

The case continues this week.

https://nypost.com/2022/12/12/jury-weighs-death-penalty-for-fla-man-who-killed-wife-4-kids/ Jury considers death penalty for Fla. man who killed wife and 4 children


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