Murder charges dropped from '06 case
Murder charges against a Tuscumbia man were dropped in Circuit Court yesterday afternoon after the defendant pled guilty to possession of controlled substance.
Franklin County District Attorney Joey Rushing said felony murder, murder and manslaughter charges were dropped against Jason Duane Jones, 28, of 144 Harmony in Tuscumbia, in the July 2005 death of Julie Black.
Jones was indicted in October 2006.
Jones will receive a 15-year split sentence with three years to serve in the plea deal for possession of a controlled substance.
"Mr. Jones will be given credit for the 14 months he has been in custody and monitored through an ankle monitor, and he will begin serving the additional 22 months of his time on May 1," Rushing said.
Jones said he is glad that the ordeal is behind him.
"I'm ready to go get it over with and get on with my life," Jones said.
Jones admitted that he did not realize how ill Black, who was a diabetic, was in the moments before her death.
Jones' attorney Billy Underwood said that he was happy with the settlement, and that the defense had medically certified proof that Jones was not responsible for Black's death.
"I would be remiss in not complimenting internal medicine specialist Dr. Louren McCoy for explaining that under the circumstances, it would be medically impossible for Jones to have caused the girl's death," Underwood said.
McCoy's statement was that Black's death was caused by her Type 1 diabetes coupled with her life choices, including the use of methamphetamine.
"She [Black] purchased the meth and had my client inject her with it," Underwood said. "Unfortunately for Ms. Black, not all Type 1 diabetics can be saved in the emergency room."
Jones' mother, Judy Ozbirn, said she is grateful of the outcome.
"A lot of prayers have been answered," Ozbirn said.