Jason A. Jones will not face a Hard 50 prison sentence in the meth-injection killing of a 34-year-old man last year.
Sedgwick County District Attorney’s Office spokesman Dan Dillon said jurors charged with deciding whether aggravating factors exist in the case that call for a heftier sentence “could not come to a consensus.” They met Friday morning for the penalty phase of Jones’ trial after prosecutors said they would seek life without parole eligibility for 50 years in last January’s slaying of Shawn Lindsey.
A ruling by the Supreme Court last year said juries, not judges, must determine whether the factors in a criminal case call for increasing a defendant’s minimum prison sentence.
In Kansas, a standard first-degree murder conviction carries a prison sentence of life without parole eligibility for 25 years.
“The jury could not come to a decision,” Dillon said of Friday’s hearing. “ ... So there will be no Hard 50 for this person.”
Jones, 38, was convicted Tuesday of first-degree murder and aggravated kidnapping. He will face life in prison on the murder charge and at least 147 months in prison for kidnapping when he is sentenced before Sedgwick County District Court Judge Bruce Brown on June 20.
The judge could order Jones to serve the sentences either consecutively or concurrently, Dillon said.
Prosecutors say Jones was among a group of men who bound and tortured Lindsey at a west Wichita auto shop then injected him with a lethal dose of methamphetamine to settle a debt in January 2013. Surveyors later found his body dumped in a field near K-96 and Hillside.
Also charged with first-degree murder in Lindsey’s killing are 33-year-old Sean Dang, who is set for jury trial June 2, and 38-year-old Justin Jones.
Dillon said Friday that Justin Jones’ trial has been continued to an unknown date. It had been scheduled to start next week.