JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Houston Lee Jones told jurors this week he shot his step-grandfather in the back of the head three times because he molested him as a young child. Friday, those same jurors told Jones he was a murderer.
The 20-year-old was found guilty of Deliberate Design Murder, and sentenced to life in prison.
Prosecutors said Jones shot John Leo Landrum at a home on Shingle Mill Landing Road in the Franklin Creek community before disposing of the weapon in a nearby river.
They said Jones then staged the discovery of Landrum's body and lied to the 911 dispatcher and to the detectives who interviewed him in the early morning hours of May 25, 2011. Two days later, Jones confessed to shooting Landrum.
During the trial, Jones shared his story of abuse. But family members and close friends of the victim gave testimony to rebut those allegations of molestation.
"While the Landrum family lost a loved one due to the actions of the defendant, I hope that the jury's verdict today gave them a sense of justice," District Attorney Tony Lawrence said. "This trial was hard fought by both sides and the jury had a lot of evidence to consider."
Lawrence went on to say the victim's family was pleased with the jury's verdict.