Houston Jones Defends Himself Against Accusations of Killing His Step-Grandfather

Contributor: Sarah Duffey
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Updated: 11/21/2013 8:38 pm
Jones is charged with murdering his step-grandfather, Leo Landrum. The defense says Jones shot Landrum because he believed Landrum was sexually abusing his infant daughter, as Landrum did to him as a boy. However, the prosecutors say this story is a cover up for a financial dispute that ended in murder. Houston Jones took the stand today, testifying in graphic detail to years of sexual abuse at the hands of his step-grandfather, the man prosecutors says Jones murdered in cold blood on May 26th, 2011. Houston says he shot Landrum after seeing him sexually abuse his infant daughter, Ryleigh, two days before he pulled the trigger. Authorities say Landrum was found with three gunshot wounds to the head. The wounds appeared to be from close range. District attorney, Tony Lawrence, questions Jones’ testimony about why, after witnessing his daughter being molested, he didn't kill Landrum right then.

Lawrence asks, "You didn’t take that baby straight to the hospital to get checked, did you?"

Jones replies, "No sir, I did not."

Lawrence asks, "So what you did was no confrontation. You went to sleep. Is that correct?"

Jones replies, "Yeah, that's right."

Using testimony from the victim's sister-in-law, Lawrence grilled Jones on his claims of sexual abuse, arguing that he killed Landrum because of a financial dispute. Jones denies the confrontation ever happened. Lawrence says, "He said, ‘I’m finished with you. You're finances are over. I've been pondering this. I’m not paying for you anymore. Give me your credit cards.’" Jones argues, "That’s not what was said." Lawrence asks, “That’s not the way it happened? Is that what you're telling us?" Jones replies, "I’m telling you that was not said. That’s what I’m telling you." Lawrence points out to the jury that the victim is not alive to defend himself against what Lawrence calls ‘the sickening accusations’ Jones now makes. Lawrence says, "You made sure he never had a chance to defend this accusation you're stating in front of this jury. Your hand did that, did it not?" Jones replies, "It did." Jones and his attorneys have not denied that Jones did shoot and kill Landrum, but say it was after he blacked out, when confronting Lawrence about his suspicions of his daughter's molestation. Closing arguments are scheduled for tomorrow.

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