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    Henry Lee Jones - Tennessee Death Row


    Lillian James, 67


    Clarence James, 82




    Summary of Offense:

    Sentenced to death on May 15, 2009 in the murders of Clarence and Lillian James. The couple was found dead in their Bartlett home on August 23, 2003.

    Jones has also been sentenced to death in Florida. For more on his Florida case, see: http://www.cncpunishment.com/forums/...rida-Death-Row

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    May 14, 2009

    Memphis jury sentences Fla man to death

    A jury in Memphis has sentenced a convict to death by lethal injection for killing a Bartlett couple.

    The Shelby County Criminal Court jury deliberated for 2 hours and 40 minutes Thursday before returning the sentencing verdict against Henry Lee Jones.

    Jurors had convicted Jones on Tuesday of 1st-degree murder in the stabbings of Clarence and Lillian James in August 2003 in their home.

    The Commercial Appeal reported that it took the jury about an hour longer to sentence Jones than it did to convict him.

    Jones was arrested in Melbourne, Fla., after evidence from the killing of 19-year-old Carlos Perez was linked to Lillian James' death.

    Jones is 45 years old and is from Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

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    Suspected killer indicted in '03 Melbourne slaying

    A suspected serial killer on death row for two murders in Tennessee was indicted Tuesday in a 2003 slaying in Melbourne.

    Henry Lee Jones, 48, will face a charge of first-degree murder in the death of 19-year-old Carlos Perez of Wilton Manors in South Florida. It is the fourth homicide Jones has been linked to, and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement thinks he might be responsible for other killings throughout the Southeast.

    Jones, a drifter from Fort Lauderdale, had been suspected in the Melbourne killing since it happened, but prosecutors in Brevard County were waiting for the Tennessee case to play out before pursuing the indictment. Assistant State Attorney Michael Hunt said all witnesses who testified to a Brevard grand jury also testified in the Tennessee killings, which occurred days before the Melbourne one.

    Jones asserted his innocence in the Brevard case, refusing to plead guilty, according to Hunt. He will be transported to Brevard in the future, even as his appeal in Tennessee remains unresolved.

    The victims family wasnt interested in anything short of seeking the death penalty, Hunt said. Our victim and his family still deserve justice and deserve attention to their case.

    Jones fatally slashed an elderly couple near Memphis on Aug. 22, 2003, and stole their credit card, which Hunt said was used two days later in Brevard. He was convicted of those murders in May 2009 and sentenced to death.

    Later that week, Jones and Perez were seen together in Melbourne. Perez checked into a room at the Super 8 motel on U.S. 1, where his body was found Aug. 27. He had been raped. His hands and feet were bound, and his throat was slashed a common modus operandi in the slayings in which Jones is a suspect.

    Detective Bonnie Rinck of the Melbourne Police Department determined that Jones and Perez knew each other in Fort Lauderdale, where they met at an employment agency. Jones also had been involved in a traffic stop in south Brevard just before the murder.

    A grand jury returned the indictment Tuesday after hearing from Rinck and experts on fingerprint and DNA analysis.

    Jones, who had been in and out of jail his whole life, also has been named as the primary suspect in the death of 24-year-old Keith Gross of Fort Lauderdale. Gross body was found naked and hogtied in 2002. His throat was slashed, as well.

    http://www.floridatoday.com/article/...ews|text|Local

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    Man with 2 death sentences on trial in Fla. for 2003 killing

    A condemned serial killer from Tennessee has been sent to Brevard County to face murder charges.

    Henry Lee Jones has already been given two death sentences for the murders of an elderly couple near Memphis, Tennessee.

    However, he is in Brevard County to stand trial for the murder of 19-year-old Carlos Perez in a Super 8 motel room.

    In 2003, police said Jones brought Perez from South Florida to a Super 8 on US-1 in Melbourne, tied him up, raped him, and then strangled him and slit his throat.

    Perez was found hog tied, which was the same way his other victims were discovered.

    "Because we had a victim brutally murdered here, we wanted to have that victim and his family have their day in court here and give justice to them," said Assistant State Attorney Michael Hunt.

    Prosecutors said even though he's already been sentenced to death twice, the state is going forward, despite the expense of a death penalty case.

    "Money is not the question; it is justice for Carlos Perez and his family," said Hunt.

    In court on Friday, he asked for the belongings he left in Tennessee.

    "I was shipped from Tennessee to Florida without anything. My glasses, my bible, my legal work, anything," said Jones.

    Jones will stay in Brevard County until the trial, and then he will go back to Tennessee and await execution.

    http://www.wftv.com/news/news/local/...killing/nMkQW/
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    Appeals court upholds conviction, death sentence in murder of elderly Memphis-area couple

    A state appeals court Friday upheld the 2009 convictions and death sentences of a suspected serial killer, though one judge said the jury should not have been told of his suspected link to a similar Florida murder.

    Henry Lee Jones was convicted in the brutal slayings of Clarence and Lillian James, an elderly Bartlett couple found stabbed, bound and strangled in August of 2003 in their home in the 2400 block of Bartlett Boulevard.

    The Shelby County Criminal Court jury gave Jones two death sentences after a trial in which they learned that he also was the prime suspect in the similar murder of 19-year-old Carlos Perez five days later in Melbourne, Fla., motel.

    Prosecutor Tom Henderson argued that linking the similar murders or signature crimes was important to establish Jones identity in the Bartlett case. Judge John Colton Jr. agreed, but cautioned jurors they could consider the Perez murder only for the purpose of identity.

    Jones, 49, who once lived near Bartlett, was arrested three weeks later in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., his hometown.

    In examining whether the offenses constituted a distinctive design, we note that all the victims were bound, strangled, and had multiple incisions to their necks, two members of the three-judge panel of the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals said in a 65-page opinion. Clothing was removed from Mrs. James and Mr. Perez, and they were found lying face down. The victims bindings were removed, the crime scenes were cleaned and items were taken from the victims ...

    We conclude that the modus operandi employed in the homicides was substantially identical and unique in that a reasonable person could conclude that the offenses likely would not have been committed by different people.

    Appellate Judge Camille McMullen, however, disagreed with Judges Jerry Smith and Robert Wedemeyer on that issue.

    I would have concluded that the admission of the Florida murder was unfairly prejudicial and reversed the judgment of conviction and remanded for a new trial, McMullen said in a six-page dissent. While these tragic killings indeed bear some similarities, the record fails to show how they are unique or distinct from any other killing ... In my view, the methodology of these murders was far too common to rise to the level of a signature crime.

    An accomplice and fellow Floridian, Tevarus Young, 30, testified against Jones in trial and was later sentenced to 13 years in prison for facilitation to commit first-degree murder.

    Jones, who is on Tennessees death row, has since been indicted in Florida for the Perez murder.

    He also remains the prime suspect in the 2002 stabbing and strangulation death of Keith Gross, 24, of Fort Lauderdale.

    http://www.commercialappeal.com/news...eath-sentence/
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    Brevard Co. prosecutors want death penalty for accused killer

    Brevard County prosecutors are seeking the death penalty against 50-year-old Henry Lee Jones, who is on Tennessee's death row for the 2003 murders of Clarence and Lillian James.

    Within days of the Tennessee killings, 19-year-old Carlos Perez was hogtied and had his throat slashed at a Super 8 Motel in Melbourne.

    Jones is standing trial in Brevard County, where he's acting as his own attorney.

    Jones on Thursday conducted an uncomfortable cross- examination of Perez's father, William Perez.

    William Perez identified a Puerto Rican flag found in the defendant's car as one he gave to his son.

    According to prosecutors, some hairs and shoe prints also were found at the scene of Perez's murder, linking Jones to the case.

    "He was found dead. You had the flag," Perez said to Jones.

    Authorities said there was also a credit card belonging to one of the Tennessee victims in Jones' possession. Their daughter testified for the prosecution on Thursday and said afterward she feels for the Perez family.

    "I feel sorry for their loss and I hope they come to a closure," said Margaret Coleman, the James' daughter. "Everything will be all right. If they keep God first, everything will be all right."

    Jones is also the prime suspect in a 2002 south Florida murder, but he's never been charged in that case.

    http://www.wftv.com/news/news/local/...ccused-/nbFPZ/
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    Jury finds man guilty in 2003 Melbourne motel murder

    Already facing a two death sentences, Henry Lee Jones took his fate into his own hands in a trial for the killing of a 19-year-old in 2003 at a motel in Melbourne. He lost.

    A jury found Jones, 50, guilty of the first-degree premeditated murder of Carlos Perez on Tuesday afternoon. Jones was convicted of murder twice in connection to a 2003 double-homicide in Tennessee, and his Brevard County conviction exposes him to a possible third death sentence.

    Prosecutors say they consider Jones a serial killer based on the Florida Supreme Court definition somebody who has killed three or more people. They also believe he was involved in a fourth killing in 2002 in Broward County. Though he hasnt been charged with that crime, prosecutors used evidence from that murder to illustrate Jones signature killing style tie them up, choke them, cut their throat.

    After the guilty verdict was read at the Titusville Courthouse on Tuesday, Jones appeared unfazed and even smiled. Carlos father wiped tears from his eyes.

    "People say time heals, William Perez said. It doesn't. I miss him as much today as when he went missing."

    William can remember holding Carlos as an infant.

    "I knew I would love him for the rest of his life."

    William said Carlos grew up in Coral Springs. He loved golf, using tools, building things. He liked to follow his grandfather in the garage and eventually had his own toolbox. He loved Elvis Presley and collected memorabilia: an Elvis phone, clock, movie, music.

    He collected it all, his father said. I still hold onto those.

    Last week, they saw Carlos autopsy photos for the first time.

    "It is the most devastating experience to see your child laying on a table in a morgue with his throat slashed, almost severing his head, his father said, adding "Those images will never leave my mind."

    From the beginning of the trial to the end, Jones said he had nothing to do with Carlos death. He stressed to jurors they should ignore evidence from outside Brevard County and pay attention to dates and times.

    "I'm not guilty of killing Carlos Perez," Jones said in his opening statements. "But I hope that we do find out what happened to him."

    Assistant State Attorney Laura Moody guided the jury through the states theory of Carlos death on Tuesday. They believe the two men met at a day labor agency in Fort Lauderdale. They said Jones needed a second driver to help get rid of a Dodge Aries used in the Tennessee murders.

    Prosecutors dont know why Carlos ended up in a Super 8 motel room in Melbourne. Police found Carlos naked on a bed in room 217, strangled and with his throat cut. Prosecutors said the scene had been cleaned before police arrived, but there was a hair that was similar to Jones left at the scene. In the car Jones was arrested with, police found a pair of shoes that matched a shoeprint left in the bathroom of the motel and a Puerto Rican flag that was similar to a flag Carlos father had given him.

    The 12-person jury had to vote unanimously to convict Jones.

    Assistant State Attorney Laura Moody compared Jones to lightning.

    "The most important thing this defendant has in common with lightning is that he is deadly and he is shocking when he kills."

    William Perez urged parents to pay close attention to their children and know their friends.

    "I've blamed myself many, many times for not keeping him closer to me; not keeping a closer eye on him."

    http://www.floridatoday.com/article/...e-motel-murder
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    Jury recommends death for man found guilty in Titusville slaying

    A Brevard County jury has recommended the death sentence for a man found guilty of first-degree murder in the 2003 killing of 19-year-old Carlos Perez in Melbourne.

    The jury recommended the sentence for Henry Lee Jones shortly before 3 p.m. Wednesday. On Tuesday, that same jury found Jones guilty of murder.

    Prosecutors asked for the death penalty for Jones, 50, who represented himself in the trial and in the penalty phase of his case.

    Jones told the judge on Tuesday he wanted an attorney for the penalty phase of the case, but Jones refused to accept an attorney.

    Perez's body was found bound in a Melbourne motel room in August 2003, his throat slashed.

    "Just by looking at it, you think that knife there caused (that) kind of wounds on that victim?" Jones asked the medical examiner.

    "Most likely, I think that kind of weapon was used," Dr. Sajid Qaiser said.

    The same type of knife was found in Jones' Lincoln Town Car, along with a Puerto Rican flag identified as likely belonging to the victim by prosecutors.

    "Did you plant a Puerto Rican flag in the trunk of the Lincoln Town Car?" asked Russ Bausch, assistant state attorney.

    "No, sir," witness Scott Dwyer said.

    Jones tried to call into question the chain of custody of evidence in the case. Other times, he simply complained that he didn't have access to all of the discovery in the case, an assertion prosecutors called a "falsehood."

    "From here on out, if he has any discovery issues, we need to handle those at the bench," Bausch said.

    At one point, Jones even apologized to a witness for some earlier confusion he had in the case.

    "I want to apologize to him for what I had said last week to him about a report," Jones said. "It wasn't your report. I found out who it was. My bad."

    Jones is already on Tennessee's death row after being convicted of murder in another case.

    http://www.wftv.com/news/news/local/...elf-200/nbHrC/
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    Convicted killer sentenced to death a second time for Brevard murder

    A convicted killer in Brevard County has been sentenced to death row for a second time.

    Henry Lee Jones, 50, was already on Tennessee's death row when he was convicted of a third murder.

    There were long embraces outside the Brevard County Courtroom on Friday when Jones was sentenced to death.

    It was the end of a very long ordeal for William Perez, whose 19-year-old son, Carlos, was murdered by Jones in 2003.

    "I think that Carlos had his day in court, and I think it was important for the family to see it through," said Perez.

    Carlos was lured to a Melbourne Super 8 Motel, where he was hogtied and slashed to death.

    "He was our son. He didn't deserve to die the way that he did," said Perez.

    The murder happened just days after Jones committed a double homicide in Tennessee, where Clarence and Lillian James met similar fates.

    Jones was convicted of their murders in 2009 and was placed on Tennessee's death row.

    In addition to Jones' three murder convictions, he is also the primary suspect in the murder of Phillip Gross' son. And although Jones has never been charged with the 2002 murder of Keith Gross, his family has made it a point of supporting the survivors of Jones' crimes.

    "We're just thankful for the verdict today because this man committed these brutal, vicious crimes and he doesn't deserve to take another breath, he really doesn't," said Gross.

    "I always knew that he wouldn't get out, but I think he had to face the charges for what he did to our son," said Perez.

    Now that Florida prosecutors are finished with Jones, he's returning to Tennessee's death row.

    http://www.wftv.com/news/news/local/...e-breva/nfnjr/
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    Court reverses Bartlett murder conviction on death-row inmate

    The Tennessee Supreme Court ordered a new trial for a man convicted in the heinous 2003 murders of a Bartlett couple.

    Harry Lee Jones was sentenced to death on two counts of first-degree murder. He was tried in Clarence and Lillian James' 2003 death, in which he allegedly stabbed, bound, and then strangled the elderly couple during a home invasion. Jones was also accused of killing a man in Florida days later.

    During Jones' 2009 trial, the court "erroneously allowed the state to present evidence of the subsequent murder of Carlos Perez in a motel room in Melbourne, Florida."

    Presenting evidence of the defendant's other crimes in court is generally not acceptable, and the supreme court pointed out significant differences between the Fla. and Tenn. murders and said that the evidence should not have been admitted.

    According to the WMC Action News 5 report on the 2009 trial, evidence from the murder of 19-year-old Perez was actually introduced during this trial. He was killed in the same manner as the couple.

    A court of criminal appeals held that the Perez murder qualified as a signature crime; that made for a slim exception to allowing evidence in one case to be presented in another.

    Judge Camille McMullen said the Perez murder did not meet the strict requirements for the exception to apply.

    In conclusion, the supreme court ordered a new trial Thursday and ruled that the state may seek the death penalty again.

    http://www.wmcactionnews5.com/story/...ath-row-inmate
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