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Judge rejects woman's dismissal motion in Laurel quadruple murders

Laurel Nebraska
Posted at 4:55 PM, May 04, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-04 17:55:19-04

HARTINGTON, Neb. (AP) — A woman charged in one of four killings in northeast Nebraska last year will go to trial after a judge rejected a request to dismiss the charges against her.

District Judge Bryan Meismer on Tuesday ruled there was enough evidence to justify a trial for 44-year-old Carrie Jones on charges of first-degree murder, tampering with physical evidence and being an accessory to a felony, the Sioux City Journal reported.

Jones is charged in the shooting death of 86-year-old Gene Twiford in Laurel on Aug. 4, 2022. Jones' husband, Jason Jones, is charged with killing Twiford and three others.

A Nebraska State Patrol investigator testified at a February hearing that Jones told him she threatened her husband with a gun and knife if he didn't stop Twiford from verbally harassing her. Jones told investigators that Twiford had been verbally harassing her with sexual and other comments for two to three years.

Jones said she didn't tell her husband to kill Twiford but acknowledged saying she would if he didn't.

Hours later, Twiford; his 85-year-old wife, Janet; and their 55-year-old daughter, Dana Twiford; were shot and their house was set on fire, prosecutors said. Michele Ebeling, 53, a neighbor, was also killed, and her house was set on fire.

Ebeling lived across the street from the Joneses. The Twifords lived about three blocks south of them.

Jason Jones, 43, is charged with four counts each of first-degree murder, use of a firearm to commit a felony and two counts of first-degree arson.

Carrie Jones is accused of helping her badly burned husband hide while authorities were looking for him. She remains in custody on $1 million bond.

The couple are both scheduled to be arraigned on May 22. Jason Jones is being held without bond at a Nebraska prison, where he continues to receive medical care.

Prosecutors have said they plan to seek the death penalty against Jason Jones if he is convicted.

Laurel is a community of less than 1,000 people, about 100 miles northwest of Omaha.

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