Woman’s desperate 911 call played as double-murder suspect ordered to stand trial

Posted at 3:41 PM, Mar 26, 2014
and last updated 2014-03-27 00:12:37-04

ST. GEORGE -- A chilling 911 call was played in court here as part of a hearing for a Washington City man accused of killing his wife and stepson in a double-murder and suicide attempt.

Richard Andrew Jones slumped in his chair as prosecutors played his wife Michelle's last words.

"My husband just shot my son!" Michelle Jones is heard on the recording. "He shot him! He shot him!"

The dispatcher asked follow up questions as Michelle urged the police to hurry.

"He's got a gun! He's going to hurt me now!" she yelled.

"He's got a gun? What is your husband's name?" the dispatcher asked on the recording.

There was only silence in response.

"Hello?" the dispatcher asked.

As the call was played, Richard Jones looked down at his lap. prosecutors accuse him of shooting and killing his 19-year-old stepson, Christopher Ellis, then killing his wife and trying to take his own life.

A Washington City police officer testified that under questioning in a Las Vegas hospital, Jones confessed to shooting his wife in the front yard.

"He said she was screaming and yelling, 'I pulled out my .45 and shot her,'" Lt. Vance Bithell testified.

"I asked him what led up to this event and he felt he and Michelle had been arguing a lot about possible drug problems Christopher was having and he turned to his .45," Bithell told the court.

Jones then turned the gun on himself, police said.

Jones said he and his wife had been drinking, the officer testified. Jones claimed there had been tension with Christopher living and the home and killing them "was his answer to make things better."

Under cross-examination, defense attorneys suggested police had prompted Jones to make those statements after telling him what they believed happened, while he was in the hospital recovering from a gunshot wound.

Late Wednesday, Jones was ordered to stand trial. Jones is charged with two counts of first-degree felony aggravated murder. Prosecutors have not yet indicated if they will seek the death penalty if he is convicted.