Man originally said he was innocent
LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A father will be sentenced later this month for abusing and murdering his son in 2017, the 8 News Now Investigators have learned.
Paul Jones, 39, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and two felony counts of child abuse, neglect, and endangerment.
Jones is asking for a sentence of 12-to-48 years in prison while prosecutors point to several possibilities including life in prison with the possibility of parole after 20 years, according to court documents the 8 News Now Investigators obtained.
The body of 13-year-old Aaron Jones was found in April 2017 in a desert area near Boulder Highway and Sahara Avenue. Paul Jones hit his son, who then fell to the floor and hit his head.
Jones then placed the child in the shower and when he still was not breathing, Jones buried his body, according to a sentencing memorandum submitted by the defense and prepared by a licensed psychologist.
Paul Jones claimed the murder happened in February 2017. Aaron Jones was not reported missing until two months later.
In an interview from jail in 2017, Paul Jones told 8 News Now that he was innocent.
“All I know is that he ran away and that was the last time I saw him,” he said.
Family members later revealed that Aaron Jones suffered extensive long-term abuse at the hands of his father. This included making the child stand against a wall with his arms over his head, beating him, forcing Aaron to remain in soiled clothes, encouraging other children to taunt Aaron and not allowing Aaron to eat or to sleep for days. This occurred in a one-bedroom apartment with 11 other children, according to records.
Dijonay Thomas, Aaron Jones’ mother, filed a lawsuit against Paul Jones and Clark County Department of Family Services in 2018. Aaron Jones had been formally removed from her care and placed with his father. This was while Paul Jones was on probation for child abuse.
“It’s not something I would ever understand,” Thomas said in an interview with the 8 News Now Investigators in 2019. The lawsuit is ongoing.
In the criminal case, Paul Jones tried to withdraw his plea and a judge denied his request. The sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 26.
The defense team for Jones points to challenges he faced in life including abuse he suffered as a child, an unstable home life, and mental health issues.