48 years later, community rallies to keep man in prison

Posted at 2:11 PM, Dec 14, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-14 22:47:50-05

People across Limestone County are signing petitions and writing letters to keep a man in prison for killing a teenager in Mexia decades ago.

"This case is still burned into the memory of the people in this county," Limestone County District Attorney Roy DeFriend said. 

Carlos Don Stultz was convicted of killing 17-year-old Kathy Jones in her home near Mexia in June 1969. Before that, in 1968, he killed an 11-year-old girl in Grand Prairie.

Stultz is up for a parole review in February 2018, but Limestone County officials and Kathy Jones' parents want to make sure he is not granted parole. 

The first murder

In 1968, Kubat lived with her mother in Oak Cliff. In August 1968, she was visiting her father in Grand Prairie. She was sleeping on the couch when an intruder came into the house. The intruder sliced her throat, took $40 and left. Her father found her and rushed her to the hospital. She could not talk but through nodding, she was able to say a neighbor committed the crime.Kubat died at the hospital. At the time, Stultz lived in the town.

Less than a year later, Stultz made his way to the Mexia area for a ranch job.

The second murder

On June 3, 1969, Jones decided to go home for lunch. She drove her car to the house.

“When she passed the service station, this idiot saw her and he followed her home.” Florence Jones, Kathy's mother, said. “She fixed her a sandwich. The sandwich was still on the plate. The plate was still on the table over there. She had everything ready for her to eat.”

Florence said the man then went inside the house where Jones was and attacked her.

DeFriend said Jones fought back but was stabbed 18 times.

“She was then taken from the house, my understanding and sexually assaulted,” DeFriend said.

Florence said her dad, who lived a few doors down, had noticed the truck in the driveway of the home and was able to describe the truck to investigators, which led them to arrest Stultz.

Limestone County Sheriff Dennis Wilson remembers the case. He was in high school when the incident occurred.

“This was a very violent crime to an innocent young lady that certainly didn't deserve the death that she received,” Wilson said.

DeFriend was in elementary school when Jones was killed, but he remembers seeing it on the news and seeing adults talk about it.

“This kind of case is not the sort of thing that happens in small-town Texas,” DeFriend said. “For that to happen here, it’s very unusual.”

A Conviction

In 1970, Stultz was tried in Dallas. He was convicted of killing both Jones and Kubat. He confessed to both murders at the time. He was given the death penalty.

Stultz is currently serving two life sentences. His death sentence was commuted to life in 1972.

Petitions Against Parole

According to DeFriend, Stultz has been coming up for parole about every three years since the late 1970s early 1980s.

The law has changed so a parole committee can set it off for five or seven years, rather than one to three years.

“It’s something the Jones family has to relive this nightmare every few years,” DeFriend said.

DeFriend and Wilson are working together with the Jones’ to ask people in the community to write letters to the parole board and sign petitions.

“One of the ways you can keep our community safe is when you have these people who are dangerous to our community locked up, we want to keep them locked up. So it's an opportunity for people in this community to write letters to the parole board or at least sign the petition,” Sheriff Wilson said.

Wilson and DeFriend are putting petition forms throughout the county for people to sign. They are asking people to sign the petition or write a letter before Jan. 1, 2018. 

“It tore the fabric of this community. And he needs to continue to pay for that crime. That's where he needs to stay,” DeFriend said.

Three years ago, 2,000 people signed petitions to deny Stultz parole, DeFriend said.

Florence and Roy “Sonny” Jones are hoping this time they don’t have to relive the process for several more years.

“Write the letters to keep him in. He could hurt someone else,” Florence said.

“He already killed a girl before Kathy. If they let him out, he might do it again,” Roy said.

The Jones’ still live in the same house Kathy was killed in.

“It feels like I can’t leave it because I would be leaving her memories. We were happy here,” Florence said. “We were a happy family.”

“We made some good memories,” Roy said.

The last 48 years have not been easy for the Jones’.

“You don't get over it. You never get over it. The pain of giving up a child,” Florence said.

“You get up one morning you think you're doing all right and all of a sudden, it hits you," Roy said.

Stultz is currently incarcerated at the LeBlanc Unit in Beaumont.

If you would like to send a letter, you must include Stultz’s information in your communication with the parole board:

 Offender: Carlos Don Stultz
 State ID# 00999638
 TDCJ-ID # 00233884

Send your letter to:

Ms. Angela McCown, Director
Victim Services Division
8712 Shoal Creek Blvd., Suite 265
Austin, TX  78711-3401
(512) 406-5900
Fax (512) 452-0825

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