0
Votes

Jones Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity

Judge to decide if Fairfax City man who killed mother will be committed to a psychiatric institution.

Nathan P. Jones stabbed his mother to death inside their Mosby Woods home on Sherman Street in the City of Fairfax on May 12, 2006.

During a short hearing Monday, Dec. 17, 2007 in Fairfax County Circuit Court, Jones, 26, was found not guilty by reason of insanity.

Jones, who is now in the care and custody of the Commissioner of the Department of Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Substance Abuse Services, will be further evaluated. Jones will return to Fairfax County Circuit Court in February when Judge Leslie M. Alden will decide whether he should be committed to a psychiatric hospital.

Two medical reports, one prepared by mental health experts for Jones' defense attorneys and one prepared for the Commonwealth, agreed that Jones was insane at the time he killed his mother, said Deputy Commonwealth's Attorney Ian M. Rodway.

After Jones was arrested, jail staff requested emergency mental health treatment when he was placed in seclusion and started drinking his urine, eating his feces, and smearing his feces over his face and body, according to court records.

"Sheriff's deputies are unable to safely maintain Mr. Jones within the confines of the Adult Detention Center," according to the emergency treatment order. "Without intervention, this clinician believes his condition will only further deteriorate."

Jones spent most of the year leading up to his preliminary hearing in Central State Hospital in Petersburg, Va.

HIS FATHER, Dennis Jones, testified about his son's deteriorating mental health condition at his son's preliminary hearing in Fairfax County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court last May.

Pamela Ann Jones called her estranged husband Dennis Jones two or three times on the day of her death, according to his testimony.

She first called after 4 a.m. to tell her husband that their son was acting psychotic.

Dennis Jones checked on his son about 7 a.m. that morning, drove him to a nearby park to play basketball, and told him to take his medication when he returned home.

But after "strange correspondence" with his son later that day, Dennis Jones said he became extremely concerned.

Dennis Jones testified that when he later picked his son up in the Fairfax Circle area and started driving his son back home, Nathan Jones became aggressive and grabbed the steering wheel of the car.

Nathan Jones told his father he didn't want to go to the house. "He gave me the most incredible glare, it was frightening," Dennis Jones testified.

Dennis Jones found his wife on the bathroom floor, according to Fairfax City Police at the time of the murder.

Fairfax City Police retrieved more than 100 pieces of evidence from the crime scene, including shards of broken glass, a bucket of bloody water, a mop and two bloody knives. Police found large amounts of blood in the basement and the kitchen of the home, and in the bathroom where Pamela Ann Jones' body was discovered.

Blood samples from Nathan Jones' socks contained his mother's blood, according to testimony by forensic scientists during the preliminary hearing last May.

IT IS "FAIRLY RARE" for murder defendants to be found not guilty by reason of insanity, said Commonwealth's Attorney Raymond F. Morrogh.

"It's a very complex area of the law," Morrogh said. "It's an unhappy marriage between law and [mental health]. We battle it out frequently in court."

"I take into account what the mental health experts say, but I don't always accept it," he said, calling psychiatry an "inexact science."

"It depends on the evidence and the history of the person."

Rodway said it was his first case with such an outcome.