Elderly Chesterfield woman will stand trial for murder

Posted at 12:15 PM, Jul 10, 2012
and last updated 2012-07-10 15:04:33-04

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va  (WTVR)  -  A Chesterfield County Juvenile and Domestic Courts judge certified two counts of first degree murder against Estelle Virginia Jones. Jones, 70, is accused of shooting her husband and strangling her mentally ill son in their home this past April.

Jones walked into court in shackles and handcuffs Tuesday morning. The frail, grey-haired woman wore a green prison jumpsuit.

Judge Lynn Brice heard detailed testimony from Chesterfield Police Detective Mike Moore, the first detective who responded to the scene April 19.

Detective Moore testified police received a 9-1-1 call and then found Jones on the front steps of her home along the 11900 block of River Road, near Pocahontas State Park.

Moore said Jones told him she and her 71-year old husband Joseph had an argument the day before.  He said he yelled at her “I could have married someone better!” 

Det. Moore then related how Jones told him she retrieved a .38-caliber handgun from the bedroom, argued more with her husband and then shot him five times after he sat in his living room chair.

Then,”to make sure he wasn’t playing opossum”, she said she retrieved another handgun, a .22-caliber, and shot him one more time, Det. Moore testified.

Det. Moore then recounted how Jones told him her deaf and mentally ill son Perry was so upset that she had to stay up with him all night and into the next day. Perry, 50, had lived with his parents his entire life.

According to Det. Moore, Jones said she was afraid that if she went away, no one would take care of her son. That is why, Moore testified, Jones took one of her husband's belts and strangled her son. 

Jones told Moore, the detective testified, that she tried to kill herself with the belt, but could not. She called 9-1-1 almost six hours later, he said he told her.

Ms. Jones' attorney Randy Rowlett said an evaluation at the Piedmont Geriatric Hospital found Jones competent to stand trial. 

The grand jury meets Monday to consider the case.