The following is a press release issued by the Mendocino County District Attorney’s Office:
With the surviving victim watching from the courtroom gallery, defendant Thomas Dean Jones, age 66, formerly of the Talmage area, was sentenced Thursday afternoon to longest non-death prison sentence in the legal history of Mendocino County.
Defendant Jones was convicted by jury in February of the first degree murder of his step-son by use of a black powder cap-and-ball revolver, and the first degree attempted murder of the step-son’s husband by use of the same firearm.
The jury also found true sentencing allegations (Strikes) that the defendant had previously suffered three prior robbery convictions in Lake County and three prior robbery convictions in Sonoma County.
When all was said and done at the conclusion of what turned out to be a relatively brief hearing, the defendant was sentenced to state prison for a term of Life Without the Possibility of Parole, (LWOP) plus an additional 172 years to life to run consecutive to the LWOP.
The law enforcement agency that developed the evidence underlying the defendant’s convictions was the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office.
The Ukiah Police Department, the California Highway Patrol, and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife provided mutual aid back on the morning of September 23, 2020. The District Attorney’s own Bureau of Investigations provided victim/witness and trial support.
The prosecutor at trial who presented the People’s evidence to the jury was District Attorney David Eyster.
Mendocino County Superior Court Judge Keith Faulder presided over Thursday’s hearing and imposed the sentence noted above.