February 6, 2017
McKinney, Texas – James Otis Jones, 52, of McKinney, Texas, received a life in prison sentence on Tuesday January 17, for Murder, announced Collin County District Attorney Greg Willis.
On the morning of April 28, 2015, Jones and his ex-wife were at a Dollar General store to get food for lunch. After his ex-wife returned to their car from inside the store, Jones pulled out a knife he had hidden in the car earlier, and began to stab his ex-wife. When she grabbed the knife in defense, Jones grabbed another knife he had previously hidden and continued his violent assault. His brutal attack lasted less than four minutes before his ex-wife was dead. After murdering his ex-wife, surveillance video revealed Jones entered the Dollar General store, where he informed an employee that he had just killed his wife, and for the employee to call the police. Once McKinney Police arrived on scene minutes later, Jones was taken into custody without issue.
Jones told McKinney Detective Paul Hardin and Texas Ranger Reuben Mankin that he had “been meaning to kill her” for months, and had hidden the knives in the car months before, in anticipation of murdering his ex-wife. Testimony revealed there was a history of violence between Jones and his ex-wife, including multiple convictions for Jones violating a protective order his ex-wife had obtained. The basis for the murder occurring on this date, according to Jones, was that his ex-wife had asked him to leave her apartment by the end of the week. When Jones was unable to convince his ex-wife to change her mind, he decided that would be the date he killed her.
Jones pleaded guilty to the court, and a hearing was held to determine his sentence. District Judge Benjamin Smith presided over the case and sentenced Jones to Life in prison, and a $10,000 fine after hearing about multiple prior prison sentences and other convictions, some of which involved the same victim he ultimately murdered. When pronouncing Jones’ Life sentence, Judge Smith commented on the extreme brutality of this murder, along with Jones’ history of violence and criminal convictions as the basis of his decision.
Jones will be eligible for parole consideration in 30 years. Assistant Criminal District Attorneys Abby Policastro and Lisa Milasky King prosecuted the case and were aided by District Attorney Investigators Kenny Newton and Mike Bennett. The case was investigated by the many members of the McKinney Police Department, along with the Texas Rangers.