Former minister’s trial delayed

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 1, 2001

[05/01/01] The trial of a former Anguilla Baptist minister charged with murder in the shooting death of his wife was to begin today in Rolling Fork, but has been delayed until September.

Ninth District Assistant District Attorney Mike Bonner of Vicksburg said the case was delayed after an agreement with defense attorney Richard Smith, also of Vicksburg. Bonner said Smith has an expert witness who will testify that the deceased, Pamela Sue Jones, could have shot herself in the head twice.

“I’ve got to have time to depose his witness and then time to let my witnesses be ready,” Bonner said.

David Allen Jones, 40, is charged with killing his wife on Jan. 17, 1998.

Her death originally was ruled a suicide when Jones told investigators he discovered his wife mortally wounded in her bedroom with what appeared to be a single gunshot wound to her left temple. Jones said he had slept in another room that night. However, a state autopsy later revealed multiple bullet fragments, leading investigators to file a murder charge against Jones.

Bonner said he, Smith and Circuit Judge Isadore Patrick, who will hear the case, all agreed on the delay, also due to potential problems with finding jurors in the heavily agricultural county. It is planting season.

“Everybody in Sharkey County has a job now and that happens only once or twice a year, so we talked to Judge Patrick and we all decided to hold off until September,” Bonner said Monday. “Then we will try him for murder unless he wants to plead guilty to murder first.”

Jones was indicted by a Sharkey County grand jury in April 2000, and was arrested by authorities in Allentown, Pa., where he had lived since shortly after his wife’s death. After extradition procedures were waived, Jones was returned to Sharkey County and entered a plea of not guilty. He is no longer a practicing minister.

Jones, who has pleaded innocent, has been free on bond since last spring.