Barry Lee Jones was convicted of first-degree murder in the death of ‘R.G.’, a 4-year-old child, in a case in 1994 prosecuted by the Pima County Attorney’s Office.
Following a medical re-examination, PCAO says the evidence does not support a finding of proof beyond a reasonable doubt that Jones was responsible for R.G.’s injuries.
However, the attorney’s office does say the evidence presented at trial supports a conviction for R.G.’s second-degree murder, as Jones allowed R.G.at the time in his care and custodyto die as a result of the injuries she suffered.
Jones’ refusal to get medical attention for R.G. supports the conviction of second-degree murder., according to PCAO.
For these reasons, the Arizona Attorney General’s Office has agreed that his first-degree murder conviction should be overturned, and the Pima County Attorney’s Office will propose a plea deal to second-degree murder.
Statement from Pima County Attorney Laura Conover:
These are some of the most difficult decisions we face as prosecutors, trying to balance the rule of the law and in this case holding someone accountable for the death of an innocent 4-year-old child. Whats also important is having the courage to re-evaluate these cases thoroughly, while staying true to our responsibility of charging them accordingly with what is right in the eyes of the law. To that end Mr. Jones has been held more than accountable.
With the overturning of the first-degree murder conviction, Jones will no longer face the death penalty but will be sentenced to a maximum of 25 years in the Arizona Department of Corrections, Rehabilitation, and Reentry.
He will be released after serving 29 years of his sentence due to credit for time served.