Curtis Jones: Youngest Convicted Murderer Released From Prison 16 Years Later

Curtis Jones was just 12-years-old when he was convicted of first-degree murder. He was sentenced to almost 20 years in prison, but as of July 28, he's a free man. Curtis Jones, 29, has lost 16 years of his life, due to a heinous crime he committed when he was just 12-years-old. He and his then 13-year-old sister, Catherine Jones, 30, were convicted of murdering their father's girlfriend, Sonya Speights. On July 28, Curtis was released from the South Bay Correctional Facility in Florida.

Image Credit: Courtesy of WFTV

Curtis and his sister, Catherine, were found guilty of killing their father’s girlfriend, Sonya, in 1999 in Cocoa Beach, Florida. It all began when the pair hatched a plan to kill their father and his girlfriend, because they claimed they were being sexually abused by a male relative and felt they weren’t being defended by their dad or Sonya, according to CNN.

On Jan. 6, 1999, they were alone at home with the victim and decided to proceed with the murder and kill her first. After they shot her, they ran off into woods by their house, but were found and apprehended the next morning. During their trial, their lawyer alleged that the pair were being sexually abused by a relative. The legal team argued to say that Curtis and Catherine only turned to extreme measures, because they felt that their father and his girlfriend were not protecting them from the abuse.

When it came down to the prosecutors, they argued that the siblings were just jealous that the victim was getting their father’s attention and they weren’t. They wound up taking a plea deal, according to the outlet, and were sentenced to 18 years in prison. Currently, fourteen states have no minimum age for trying children as adults and children as young as eight have been prosecuted as adults, according to Equal Justice Initiative. Some states set the minimum age at 10, 12, or 13.

While Curtis was in prison, he became an ordained minister. Catherine married a pen pal while she was incarcerated and is set to be released this week.

HollywoodLifers — do you think children that young should be given such a long sentence? Sound off below!

— Brittany King 

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