Jury's Guilty Verdict Follows Belief That Jones Cash Poor

by George Waldon  on Monday, Oct. 18, 2010 12:00 am  

Federal prosecutors haven't filed a written response to motions for an acquittal or order a new trial as of Oct. 13. After an official ruling, a sentencing hearing will be scheduled.

"We expect that to be expedited, during the next 30 days," Crabtree said of sentencing.

At the Oct. 4 hearing, U.S. District Judge Brian S. Miller indicated that he would not grant an acquittal or order a new trial.

To do otherwise, Miller said, he would have to find the jury had no basis for its decision. From where he sat, the judge indicated, evidence was presented to support the guilty verdict.

"It came down to what the jury believed," Miller said at the hearing.

The jury didn't believe Jones and his account of armed intruders binding him with duct tape and setting his Chenal Circle home ablaze. Nor did jurors believe his claim that he didn't have a financial motive behind the arson.

Tim Dudley, lead defense attorney in the criminal trial, made an impassioned plea at the Oct. 4 hearing in hopes of convincing Judge Miller the evidence didn't portray Jones as "a man in financial distress."

"I earnestly argue that proof of motive was insufficient," Dudley said.

Opening the Door

The issue of motive opened the door for a closer look at the business affairs of Jones during the seven-day insurance fraud/arson trial.

The prosecution wasn't required to prove motive in its circumstantial case, only that Jones was responsible for the fire as supported by evidence that refuted his version of what happened.

"Credible evidence was present to support the verdict," Assistant U.S. Attorney Julie Peters said at the Oct. 4 hearing. "There was no miscarriage of justice here."



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