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DA hopes to appeal ruling in Jones case

DAby Carol Thompson

Oswego County District Attorney Gregory Oakes said he will try to appeal the decision handed down last week by the Appellate Court in the Alan Jones case.

The court reversed Jones’ conviction for the crime of murder in the second degree (depraved indifference murder) for causing the death of his 11-year-old stepsister, Erin Maxwell, while in their town of Palermo home in 2008.

The appellate Court held that, as a matter of law, the evidence before the jury was legally insufficient to establish that Jones acted with the mental state of depraved indifference at the time he caused Erin’s death.

In a unanimous decision, the state Supreme Court Appellate Division in Rochester concluded there was insufficient evidence to support the finding that Jones acted with depraved indifference to human life and recklessly killed the 11-year-old.

The decision could make Jones eligible for parole in as few as six years if given the maximum sentence under the lesser charge with credit for the time he’s already served in prison. Jones will be sent back to Oswego County Court for re-sentencing. The maximum sentence the judge can impose is 15 years for the lesser charge of second degree manslaughter.

If he can appeal, Oakes will attempt to have the murder conviction reinstated.

Jones, 31, is currently serving 25 years to life in state prison on the murder charge. He was convicted of second-degree murder following a 2009 trial.

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