Henry Lee Jones sentenced to death - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Henry Lee Jones sentenced to death

By Ben Watson - bio | email | Follow us on Twitter

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Convicted killer Henry Lee Jones was sentenced to death by lethal injection Thursday for the 2003 murder of an elderly Bartlett couple.

It took jurors a little less than three hours to decide that Jones should die for murdering Clarence and Lillian James.

"I think justice has finally prevailed," said the victims' son, Aaron James. "You know, its been a long time. It's been six years."

Relatives of the couple Jones was convicted of killing were pleased by the jury's death sentence, however Jones' family members felt differently.  Jones' brother, Eddie, broke down in tears when he heard his brother will be executed.

"Nobody should die regardless of what happened," he said. "It's not their decision to put nobody to death."

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.

Prosecutor Thomas Henderson said that Jones deserves lethal injection for the brutal way he strangled the elderly couple and slit their throats...

"He certainly has done enough to earn the death penalty, and that's what he got," Henderson said.

And even though Jones' trial is over, Aaron James says he still has question for Jones about the murders of his parents.

"I would say, just ask why did you have to be so vicious this crime," he said. "It wasn't that much money involved, so I just couldn't understand it."

Powered by Frankly