Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

October 11, 2012

Jones pleads guilty to Parsons murder

Brent Brown
Greensburg Daily News

Greensburg — Sixteen months after the murder of Devin Lee Parsons, those responsible have been judged accordingly.

Thursday afternoon, Waldo Lynn Jones Jr., 30, pleaded guilty to the June 2011 murder of the 12-year-old Greensburg boy, mere months after Tasha Marie Parsons, Devin’s mother and Jones’ accomplice in the crime, did the same.

The guilty plea carries with it a maximum sentence of 60 years in prison. Jones will receive no less than 45 years when he is sentenced in December.

Judge Matthew Bailey presided over the hearing in the Decatur Superior Court, which saw Prosecutor Jim Rosenberry submit a variety of evidence against Jones on behalf of the state.

Greensburg Police Department Detective William Meyerrose took the witness stand and answered Rosenberry’s questions.

Meyerrose stated he arrived at the scene of the crime at 604 East Washington Street June 3, 2011. In the home at the time were Tasha Parsons, Devin Parsons and his two younger siblings. Emergency responders were tending to Devin Parsons, who was found to be dead at the scene. Members of the GPD and the Indiana State Police were also at the home when Meyerrose arrived.

Meyerrose recapped a coroner’s report that stated Devin Parsons died of “multiple blunt force traumatic injuries from head to toe and partial thickness burns to the face.” The victim received 17 documented injuries in the beating, which took place over the course of several hours and at a time when Devin’s brother and sister were present in the home.

The detective stated Tasha Parsons had initially told police in an electronically recorded statement that Jones had not taken part in the beatings that led to the death of her son. She recanted the next day and implicated Jones as equally complicit in the murder.

Jones himself spoke with three friends the night Devin Parsons died, Meyerrose said, and the defendant told one friend he “beat the brakes off of” the boy. Jones told friends he had beaten Devin Parsons because the boy had taken prescription medication from Jones, and the two adults had assaulted the boy in order to learn the whereabouts of the pills. The medication had been illegally acquired by Jones, Meyerrose said.

Jones initially told police he had not taken part in the beating of Parsons.

A friend of Jones told investigators the suspect had told him Jones was aware the boy was dead following the beating.

The friend told police Jones had said, “I killed him; I know I killed him. Now I’m gonna kill myself.”

Jones was made aware of his rights by Judge Bailey prior to the court’s acceptance of the plea. He answered Bailey’s questions clearly and succinctly, but said nothing else. Jones was represented by his legal counsel, attorney Mark Jones, who asked Judge Bailey for 60 days before sentencing in order to hire a sentencing consultant for his client. Bailey agreed and set the defendant’s sentencing hearing for 10 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 12.

Jones’ plea forfeits his right to a jury trial, which had previously been set to begin Oct. 29. With the court’s acceptance of the guilty plea, the sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole was removed as a punishment for Jones. Jones also waived his right to an appeal with the guilty plea. Neglect of a Dependent, an additional felony charge levied against Jones, was removed with the guilty plea as well.

The plea provides closure to the case, but not necessarily for the family.

Jennie Parsons was present in the courtroom Thursday afternoon and offered no sympathy for Jones.

“He should have received more than 60 years,” she said. “Devin had his life taken away.”

The fact that Jones will not “walk away” free of the crime offered a bit of solace for the Parsons family, Jennie Parsons indicated.

“At least he’s put away,” she remarked. “They got what they deserved — both of them.”

Contact: Brent Brown 812-663-3111 x7056