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Prosecutors in Lucas County, Ohio, can charge a 17-year-old girl as an adult for allegedly beating and strangling the mother of her 33-year-old boyfriend to death, a judge ruled Friday, according to local outlets WOIO and WEWS.
Kaitlyn Coones was indicted back in August with her co-defendant and so-called boyfriend Jonathon Jones.
At the hearing on Friday, cops from Sylvania Township reportedly said their counterparts in Canton asked them to perform a welfare check on the victim, Nicole Jones, 53. They checked at her home in Toledo on May 5, but could not find her. U.S. Marshals soon put out the word that they were looking for her son, Jonathan Jones, and Coones. The son had already been wearing an GPS monitor for a Wood County criminal case.
They were last seen in Arizona. It later turned out that they ended up in the municipality of Ahumada in the state of Chihuahua in Mexico. Authorities arrested them and took them back stateside, where they were indicted for charges including aggravated murder, murder, tampering with evidence, and abuse of a corpse. Defendant Jones pleaded guilty in the prior Wood County case and was sentenced to four years in prison for endangering a child, attempted pandering obscenity involving minors, vandalism, and failure to appear.
Authorities claim that Kaitlyn had been living in Jonathon Jones’ bedroom, and that Nicole Jones may not have known. Eventually, the teen apparently gave the man an ultimatum.
“Kaitlyn had told Jonathan, that they needed to do something about his mother because she was preventing them from being together and she gave him five hours to do something about her, and at one point in the interview, she even mentioned to killing her,” a detective for the Sylvania Township Police Department testified, according to WOIO.
Prosecutor Andy Lastra said that Coones eventually attacked Nicole Jones when the older woman was standing in front of a kitchen refrigerator and was unaware of her presence. The teenager allegedly beat the older woman with a rock and strangled her.
Jonathon Jones was allegedly in the living room when this happened, but he helped the teenager discard the body, going out to buy a tarp and garbage bags to wrap and move his mother’s body, then discarding the remain in an apartment complex dumpster, according WEWS.
Authorities reportedly said that Coones had been in the foster care system, living in a group home, but she went missing from there in April. A nurse at the home received a text from Coones’ phone, in which the writer claimed to have killed two people and to be on the run.
Coones’ attorney, Ann Baronas, maintained her client was Jonathon Jones’ victim, according to WEWS. She asserted there is no way investigator can prove that Kaitlyn actually sent the text. Her client could not have killed Jones herself, she argued. Instead, she maintained that Kaitlyn was covering for Jonathon Jones.
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