OSWEGO, NY Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Alan Jones appeared in court this morning to find out if he would be sentenced.
Earlier this month, after Sal Lanza, Jones’ defense lawyer, filed a motion to have the jury’s guilty verdict overturned, Judge Walter Hafner agreed to adjourn Jones’ sentencing until the matter was cleared up.
After listening to Lanza present his arguments, and a response from the District Attorney the judge denied the motion to set aside the jury’s verdict.
Jones, 28, was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison for the murder last summer of his 11-year-old stepsister Erin Maxwell.
DA Donald Dodd said “the sentence imposed by the judge is absolutely warranted, absolutely justified. An 11-year-old girl will never breathe another breath. The circumstances were very, very difficult for her in terms of where she lived. And, this man caused her death Ã¢â‚¬â€œ killed her. He deserves every day of 25 years in prison.”
This means that (Jones) will suffer the consequences for what he did, the DA added.
“In that regard, we are very thankful that the jury saw this in fairly short order,” Dodd said.
He feels confident the case will stand up to a challenge.
“The area of depraved indifference homicide versus intentional murder is something that the Court of Appeals has rendered a number of decisions on recently,” he said.
There were no improprieties in the jury’s deliberations in the Jones case, he added.
“In fact, this jury did exactly what we hope juries would do. They looked at the evidence closely, they offered different views. They tried to assess what the evidence meant. That is what juries are supposed to do,” the DA said.
Courts do not second guess juries, he added.
Assistant District Attorney Mark Moody responded to Lanza’s claim that the juror now believes Jones is innocent by characterizing it as “a case of buyer’s remorse.”
In late September, Jones was found guilty of second-degree murder in connection with the death of his 11-year-old step-sister.
Erin Maxwell died last August after being strangled by Jones.
Jones claimed Erin died accidentally, after a rope she was playing with got caught around a screw on the window frame in her bedroom.
In a separate trial this summer in Palermo Town Court, Lindsay and Lynn Maxwell, the Erin’s father and step-mother, were found guilty of several counts of endangering the welfare of a child.
They have each been sentenced to two years in jail.
In court this morning, Lindsay Maxwell said he didn’t believe his daughter would want Alan to suffer for her.
They were best friends, he added.
“I don’t believe Alan should spend any more of his life than he has to in jail,” Maxwell said. “This is her big brother. His sentence shouldn’t be any harsher than it has to be. We have already lost our daughter; we don’t want to lose our son.”
Prior to his sentencing, Jones told the judge he would never cause injuries to anyone and he’s confident his conviction will be overturned on appeal.
“I am not a threat to anyone,” Jones said.