Bartlett couple's convicted killer takes stand at sentencing - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Bartlett couple's convicted killer takes stand at sentencing

By Anna Marie Hartman - bio | email | Follow us on Twitter

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC-TV) -  Convicted killer Henry Lee Jones took the stand Wednesday evening in an effort to save his life.

A jury found Jones guilty of killing an elderly Bartlett couple. Clarence and Lillian James were found stabbed to death in their home in 2003.     
During the sentencing phase of the trial Wednesday, Jones took the stand against the advice of his attorneys, saying "I got a lot to say." 

Faced with a sentence that could end his life, Jones described his upbringing as an abused child who lived with 14 siblings in a two-bedroom house. 

"I was abused in a lot of ways, but I grew out of it..." he said.

The convicted murderer burst into tears several times while on the stand.

"I never murdered anybody. I love everybody. I ain't never did no wrong by anybody," he said. "I love kids, I love old people. I ain't never had a murder on my jacket."

But Jones' criminal past was an issue during his trial. As an 18-year-old living in Florida, he was convicted of armed robbery and served 16 years of a 30-year sentence.

And while he was in prison, Jones says he corresponded with his victim. "Writing, sending me cards and stuff, and I was telling him that, you know, I was sorry for what I had did to him."

But when prosecutors brought up the Florida crime, Jones took the fifth.

A prosecuting attorney addressed Jones, saying, "You got family members still want to hear it about Bartlett. Sir, do you understand we don't care what you want? You're in a court of law. You've got to answer questions..."

Jones said jurors only heard half of the story. But what they heard was convincing enough for a conviction, and Jones' tears on Wednesday came too little too late. 


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