America releases its youngest convicted murderer
The American who became the country’s youngest convicted murderer at age 12 was released from prison Tuesday after serving 16 years for killing his father’s girlfriend.
Curtis Jones, now 29, was convicted with his 13-year-old sister Catherine Jones, and sent to prison in 1999.
He was released from Florida’s South Bay Correctional Facility at 7:00 am (1100 GMT), a spokeswoman for the prison told AFP.
In 1999, the Jones children became the youngest people prosecuted as adults for murder in the United States after they confessed to killing their father’s girlfriend, Sonya Nicole Speights.
Original reports said they killed her out of jealousy, but documents seen by news website Florida Today suggested it was because they had been sexually abused by another male relative.
They allegedly planned to kill their father and Speights because they thought the two were ignoring their plight.
But after shooting Speights, the children became frightened and hid in the family home, where they were arrested the next day.
Jones will be on probation until the end of his life, according to the terms of his sentencing. His sister is scheduled to be released shortly.
Jones is now an ordained minister, according to US media.