Not Guilty of Murder Verdict Led To Tears

December 22, 2008 2:12:33 PM PST
The Fresno County caregiver accused of killing her elderly client was found not guilty of murder.The jury did find Kelly Jones guilty of a lesser charge in the death of Priscilla Stovall.

Jones' attorney said his client was trembling with fear before the verdict was read.

The 42 year old was facing a life sentence if found guilty of murder.

So when she heard the words not guilty her relief led to tears.

"We the jury find the defendant Kelly Jones not guilty of 187."

It took a few seconds to sink in but when Kelly Jones heard she had been found not guilty of murder she said 'thank you god' and then burst into tears.

Jurors did find her guilty of involuntary manslaughter for the death of her 85 year old client, Priscilla Stovall.

Ron Perring, Defense Attorney: "The not guilty on the murder is so huge it makes the manslaughter charge somewhat palatable."

Involuntary manslaughter is a lesser charge than murder.

It means Jones was responsible for Stovall's death, but without intent or malice.

What she really intended to do was reduce her suffering but she did so in a way that the jury believed was dangerous and criminally reckless that's why they found her guilty of the manslaughter.

Stovall's family hired Jones to look after the elderly woman who was under hospice care in her Clovis home.

Stovall's son stopped by one day in November of 2006 and said Jones was high and his mother's home had been ransacked.

Stovall died shortly after that. An autopsy showed toxic levels of morphine and methadone in her body. Police believe it was a mercy killing but Stovall's family called it murder. Her relatives did not want to comment after the verdict.

"I'm sorry she has to be sentenced. She's a good woman who in my view did not commit a crime."

Jones will be sentenced March 13th. She could get probation or as many as 11 years in prison.


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