OSWEGO – Alan Jones was released from prison (Oct. 4).
He was serving a sentence of 5 to 15 years. He strangled his 11-year-old step-sister in August of 2008 at their Palermo home.
Jones had been convicted by a jury of second-degree murder in 2009 in connection with her death and was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison.
However, in 2012 a state appeals court ruled Jones hadn’t acted with “depraved indifference” and the charge was reduced to manslaughter, which reduced the sentence to 5-15 years.
Jones was denied parole in 2013, 2015 and 2017.
Last year, Oswego County DA Greg Oakes wrote a letter to the parole board urging them to keep Jones behind bars.
“I’m heartbroken, frustrated, and angry at the whole situation,” the DA told Oswego County Today today (Oct. 6). “I’m heartbroken for how Erin (Maxwell) lived and died. Frustrated that I’m powerless to prevent Jones’ release. And I’m angry that the state legislature, 10 years after Erin’s death, still has not amended to law to protect children and adequately hold offenders accountable.”
Jones’ murder conviction was overturned because the court “legislated from the bench” and changed the meaning of depraved indifference, the DA said.
“Any reasonable person would consider Jones’ conduct to be depraved, to be wicked and inhumane. Unfortunately, due to court decisions, the statute no longer follows a common sense definition,” Oakes said. “Until the state legislature acts, children will remain vulnerable, and prosecutors will be unable to obtain true justice.”