State rests in Chris Jones trial; jury deliberations to continue Saturday

Deliberations to resume in Jones trial on Saturday
(Photo Source: WMC Action News 5)
(Photo Source: WMC Action News 5)

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Chris Jones will not testify in his murder trial, and the state rested its case against the man accused of killing his wife, Heather Palumbo Jones.

Deliberations ended Friday night; court will resume at 9 a.m. Saturday.

Jones is charged with the second-degree murder of his estranged wife, Heather Palumbo Jones.

Now the jury will decide whether Chris Jones is guilty of first-degree murder and abuse of a corpse. It has to decide whether the state proved that Jones is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

The defense is arguing that he did not commit first-degree murder because it was not premeditated. Instead, the defense says he acted in passion in the heat of the moment, calling the crime voluntary manslaughter.

When the prosecution rested, the defense met to determine their witnesses. While the jury was out of the room, Jones took the stand on the record.

"I think I will choose to not testify," he said. "There are a couple of other things that I would like to address the court with and get on the record."

Jones says he didn't have a chance to have witnesses in his favor and therefore hasn't been able to meet face-to-face with them. Jones also noted that he felt he didn't have time to present what he needed to the court.

The defense did not bring witnesses to the stand and rested its case.

On Friday morning, the state began with witness number 20, John Durfee from Germantown Police Department. He was the first officer to discover the scene where Heather's body was badly burned.

It came after several false claims from Chris Jones during a taped confession with police. He eventually led them to a road on Highway 64.

"Basically a gravel driveway going up into the woods," testified Durfee. "At that location there was a for sale sign and a small red sign that stated 3.22 acres for sale. Chris originally said that it was 22 acres for sale and I assumed at that point that we had found the location."

Durfee walked into the woods and found a burn site where Heather's charred remains were left.

Friends and family became emotional as they viewed photos and video of the scene.

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