A central Texas businessman will now spend the rest of his life behind bars for sexually abusing a four-year old girl. 58 year-old, Keith Allen Jones was sentenced to 47 years in prison Friday.
The Waco jury took more than 10 hours to convicted Jones but just half that long to sentence him.
It was an emotional scene in the courtroom. The victim's family and supporters for both sides cried as the judge read the sentence after four hours of waiting. The jury gave him 29 years for the aggravated sex charge and 9 years for each indecency charge.
The prosecution called the victims parents to testify again which brought many of the jurors to tears. The now seven year-old victims mother said one of their biggest heartaches is worrying that Jones would someday be around children again. She said, "No mom, or dad or baby, should ever have to go through this."
In closing statements, the defense asked for the minimum punishment reminding jurors that both families have already been devastated.
But the state was pushing for the maximum punishment on all charges. Assistant district attorney Michelle Voirin gave a passionate closing statement.
She repeatedly called Jones evil and told jurors to "give him life, give him 20 years for each other count, he's deserved every day of it."
Prosecutions co-counsel Gabby Massey told jurors they "had the power to tell the defendant and McLennan County that they cannot hurt our children."
Jones took the stand in his own defense, Thursday afternoon.
Jones denied all the allegations against him. While on the stand, he fought back tears when he talked about how the allegations have affected his family saying "his family will never be the same."
Before the case was turned over to the jury the courtroom was full of supporters for both sides during closing arguments.
The defense asked the jurors to re-watch Jones' video interview with the detective and imagine themselves in his position. They said Jones was presumed guilty from day one and that the prosecution hasn't showed beyond a reasonable doubt that Jones ever committed a crime saying, "he has never hid anything from anybody."
Yesterday the state introduced a video interview between a detective and Jones where he admits to touching the victim multiple times but "not in a bad way." Jones testified that the interview has been misconstrued. The state thinks the video is a key piece of evidence against him.
Jones said he "never thought I was admitting to a crime." He said he was just "trying to think of an explanation for the misunderstanding." what they think is a key piece of evidence in the super sexual assault trial of Keith Allen Jones.
Jones' lawyers claim there was bias in the investigation. They say the prosecution is ignoring the fact that in several interviews the victim denied that something ever happened. Prosecutors then called in a multiple people to the stand including one of the victim's former therapists and Psychologist Dr. Lee Carter.
They both testified that it's not uncommon for a victim to deny being sexually abused just to avoid talking about it because they feel uncomfortable. Dr. Lee also testified that one of the elements of reliability is the consistency of the story.
The court will rejoin at 10am for the second phase of the trial.
Thursday, May 23 2013 5:18 PM EDT2013-05-23 21:18:49 GMT
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