Profile of Convicted Murderer Jeremy Bryan Jones

Psychological evaluation said he was 'full of rage'

Jones & Composite Sketch of Suspect in Endres case.
Jones & Composite Sketch of Suspect in Endres case. Police

In 2005, Jeremy Bryan Jones was sentenced to death for the 2004 rape and murder of his 45-year-old neighbor, Lisa Nichols. That sentence was upheld in 2010 by the Alabama Appeals Court, according to the Associated Press.

At the request of his defense lawyer, Jones underwent a psychological evaluation. Reporters were able to obtain a profile from a psychiatrist who interviewed Jones right after he was arrested for Nichols' murder.

'Explosive' Personality

Dr. Charles Herlihy, who was asked by investigative reporter Josh Bernstein to interpret the profile, said that Jones could "be very calculating but explosive when he doesn't get what he wants." According to the profile, Jones suffers from severe depression and an anti-social personality. Herlihy described him as explosive and a sociopath incapable of adjusting to a normal life.

Herlihy also described Jones as full of rage and possibly capable of killing multiple times. Jones also was a prolific drug abuser and suffered from liver failure and hepatitis C. hy reviewed an 11-page evaluation of Jones by Dr. Doug McKeown, a psychologist for the prosecution who spent a day with Jones.

Oklahoma Murders

In early 2005, deputies from the Craig County, Oklahoma, sheriff's office interviewed Jones in Alabama about a December 30, 1999, murder in Welch, Oklahoma. Danny and Kathy Freeman were found shot to death and the trailer they lived in was set on fire. The Freemans' daughter, Ashley Freeman, and her friend, Laurie Bible, both 16, were not found in the home and have not been found. Jones confessed to the killings but later recanted.

Jones confessed to Sheriff Jimmie Sooter that he killed the Freeman couple and that the teenage girls ran out of the home and into Jones' truck. He drove them to Kansas, he said, where he allegedly killed them and disposed of their bodies. Based on information given to the detectives, a search of mining pits and sinkholes was conducted but nothing was found. Jones has not been charged in the Freeman case.

In 2018 Ronnie Busick was arrested in connection with the murders—which reportedly were committed because of a debt—and the girls' disappearance. As of July 2019 he remained in custody awaiting trial.

A storage building in Douglas County, Georgia, belonging to Jones was searched in late 2004. The police found eight pictures of women among his personal belongings. Six of the women have been identified. The last two pictures may be of the same woman but her whereabouts haven't been established.

Trial

During Jones' trial for Nichols' murder, he changed his story about the events of the night she died. He previously had confessed to killing Nichols, but when he testified he blamed the shooting on Nichols' neighbor. He claimed that he and the neighbor entered the home but the neighbor shot Nichols. The neighbor had died a few months before the trial began.

Prosecutors told jurors that Jones was staying with a neighbor of Nichols a few days before Hurricane Ivan hit the area. After the hurricane, the area had no electricity and was in a blackout. Jones barged in on Nichols, raped her, and then shot her three times in the head. In an attempt to cover up his crime, he set the mobile home on fire, but it only partially burned Nichols and the room where she was found.

'Coward' and 'Moral Pervert'

Along with Jones' confessions, prosecutors presented DNA evidence that blood found on Jones' clothing matched Nichols' blood. Assistant Alabama Attorney General Don Valeska read a taped conversation between Jones and his friend, Mark Bentley, in which Jones told Bentley he killed Nichols when he was high on drugs: "It was like a nightmare, I was in a movie... I was higher than I had ever been in my whole life."

Valeska told jurors to look at Jones if they wanted to see evil: "a coward, a moral pervert, and purveyor of drugs."

Guilty

The jury reached a verdict in two hours, convicting Jones of rape, burglary, sexual abuse, kidnapping, and capital murder. In confessions over the months before his trial, Jones made unsubstantiated claims to have committed up to 20 murders over 13 years. 

As of October 2019 Jones was on death row in Holman Correctional Facility in Atmore, Alabama.

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