Friday 8 June 2018

MURDERER WHO KILLED SIX PEOPLE                                                      

Divorce is often a hostile, painful process for those involved. But for most, the extent of the harm is emotional. In a tragic case out of Scottsdale, Arizona, one man appears to have taken his anger to brutal levels, seeking revenge after a long drawn-out divorce.

Dwight Lamon Jones (then a 46 year-old black man) was arrested in May 2009 at his family’s Scottsdale home on a domestic violence charge after his wife, Connie Jones said he backed her against a wall, hit her in the face and threatened to kill her, according to court records. His wife sought to end the relationship after Jones was arrested.  His wife filed for divorce from her then-husband in 2009. The case was heard before Judge Kevin Wein. The case dragged on and off for as much as nine years because of battles over alimony and custody of the couple’s son. It was finalized in 2017.

Dwight Jones then divorced walked away from the 22-year marriage after being awarded by the court, a Mercedes, a $100,000 lump-sum payment and $6,000-a-month alimony payments provided by his ex-wife, a radiologist that were to continue for five years.  WOW. Generally it is the wife who gets the award.  Connie Jones, the ex-wife is a Phoenix-area radiologist and author.

His ex-wife was awarded sole custody of their then-13-year-old son, and her payments to her ex-husband were set to end after five years. Jones was ordered to pay child support for his son. Jones meanwhile lived in hotels for nine years after the split.

Jones’ wife also sought an order of protection against her ex-husband, and psychological and psychiatric evaluations were requested for Jones, according to court records. Jones was then involuntarily committed to a mental hospital for more than a week after his arrest.

During the divorce, one of Jones' lawyers said his client was unable to find a job that came remotely close to providing the standard of living he enjoyed during his marriage.

Jones spent hours in online videos griping about his ex-wife and the court system that sided with her in the divorce. In one video, he made a disparaging remark about Dr. Steven Pitt, who testified in 2010 that Jones had anxiety and mood disorders and was at risk of using violence against his wife, child and himself.

In May of this year, Jones posted several videos on Facebook about his wife and his son. The videos and his account have since been deleted by YouTube, and the contents of the videos are unknown, but a Facebook page set up by Jones to share the videos is still up. One of the videos was titled, “Exposing Lowlifes.”

In the description, Jones wrote, “open letter to my son. i have not seen since 2011 because his mom took him away from me. i caught her molesting him, told her i was leaving her. she got a lawyer before me, set me up for death and the rest is history!”

It is not uncommon for a bitter parent to make unfounded allegations of sexual molestations against the other parent of their child.

It later became obvious that Jones’ revenge tactics against his wife were not satisfying his thirst for revenge so he decided to go to a more serious step that would satisfy his thirst for revenge. He would go after those people who had anything to do with his wife’s divorce against him.

Jones had walked away with $100,000, a Mercedes, and $6,000 a month in alimony and yet he complained that the court system favored his ex-wife and for that reason, he felt that he had been wronged. He could have used the $100,000 towards a home of his own and lived on the $6,000 a month plus get a job but instead he chose to live out of hotels for 9 years where he would brood over his so-called misfortune.

Jones, like similar killers, was driven by a profound sense of being wronged.  His first step to correct that wrong, was to purchase a hand gun.

Unfortunately, the previous domestic-violence arrest did not legally prevent Jones from buying the .40-caliber Glock handgun that was used in Jones’ later shooting attacks, said Thomas Mangan, a spokesman for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. Someone really screwed up by permitting Jones to purchase the gun.

Dwight Jones set out to kill the various people he believed were associated with his divorce case no matter how big or small their roles were in the divorce procedure. 

Jones’ first murder was committed at 5:20 pm on the afternoon of April 26, 2018 on a prominent psychiatrist and legal expert named Steven Pitt who was shot in front of his office in Phoenix. The forensic psychiatrist was retained by his wife's attorney, Elizabeth Feldman, to complete a psychiatric assessment of Jones in 2009.  Pitt was a world-renowned forensic psychiatrist, who had been charged with carrying out a psychological evaluation of Jones.  Obviously Jones wasn’t too happy with Pitt’s evaluation of him. Pitt also consulted on a number of high-profile cases including the Baseline Killer case and the JonBenét Ramsey murder.  

Sgt. Vince Lewis, a Phoenix Police Department spokesman, said witnesses overheard a loud argument followed by gunshots at about 5:30 p.m. The 59-year-old Pitt was pronounced dead at the scene after the shooter fled the area

Less than 24 hours later, Jones walked into the Scottsdale office of his wife's former lawyer with his loaded gun. Regardless of who was the intended target, only two paralegals, Veleria Sharp and Laura Anderson were left in the office on that Friday afternoon. Jones shot both of them dead. 

Sharp was shot in the head, then ran out of the office and flagged down a party bus driver to call for help, police later said. She was taken to a hospital and pronounced dead. Anderson was found shot to death inside the office.  Jones killed the wrong persons he originally didn’t intend to kill.

It was fortunate for Elizabeth Feldman who specialized in family matters and who represented Jones’ wife in the divorce proceedings that when Jones entered her office, she was there.  

She specialized in family matters. Her office was in Scottsdale, Arizona. As an aside, many years ago, my wife and I spent a night in a large hotel in Scottsdale which is very close to the large city of Phoenix.

Sometime that same day, Friday, police believe that Jones shot Marshall Levine inside another Scottsdale office building. The victim was psychologist, life coach and hypnotherapist who had no apparent record of involvement in Jones' long divorce case. His girlfriend found his body when he failed to return home well after dark. Again, Jones killed the person he didn’t originally intend to kill.

Levine shared office space with Karen Kolbe, who had been his son's counselor. She had tried to convince his son to fear his father, something he stated in one of the videos Jones posted just six days before Jones killed Levine.  

Scottsdale police learned that Jones may have gone to a residence in Fountain Hills on Sunday and asked the Sheriff's Office to do a welfare check that night. Receiving no answer from anyone inside the home off Kit Fox Place, deputies used a ladder to peer into a window and at about 12:40 a.m. Monday, they could see a body. A second body was found once deputies entered the house.

Police identified the deceased as 70-year-old Mary Simmons and 72-year-old Bryon Thomas. The murders of Simmons and Thomas were not connected to the previous four victims. I don’t think anyone knows why this couple were killed by Jones. The bullets in their bodies however, matched the other bullets in the bodies of Jones’ other victims.

Scottsdale police said a tip ultimately helped investigators identify the shooter. And if they hadn't closed in on him sooner, the number of casualties likely would have grown,

Jones' ex-wife has since taken credit for the tip, saying that she told her current husband, a former Phoenix police detective that the killer was her ex-husband after she connected the dots.   Her new husband then contacted the police.

Jones was in Fountain Hills around noon that day but officers weren't able to tail him until about 3 p.m.  as he drove around in his gold Mercedes Benz. At one point, Jones ditched a small bag containing a .22-caliber pistol, which police later determined to belong to one of the Fountain Hills victims. Slavin said ballistics ruled out the small-caliber gun from having been used in any of the shootings.  

Officers first attempted to make contact with Jones at about 8 a.m. Monday at the Extended Stay America hotel near Shea Boulevard and Scottsdale Road.

SWAT teams were evacuating adjacent hotel rooms when they heard multiple shots fired inside Jones' room. Jones was later found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.  Sgt. Vince Lewis, a Phoenix police spokesman said that Jones died alone.  

I have no idea why he didn’t shoot his former wife. Perhaps he wanted her to suffer from guilt knowing that her divorce against him brought about all those deaths. Perhaps he didn’t want his son to curse him for the rest of his life.

The only thing that he did that was in the best interests of the people of Arizona was to shoot himself dead. If he was captured alive, the taxpayers would have paid at least a million dollars for his appeals and upkeep for the many years he would be waiting for his execution by leathal injection.

Whoever sold him the two guns he had in his possession should have been arrested and punished severely since Jones wasn’t eligible to own or purchase guns of any kind.

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