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In plea deal, suspect in officer's killing gets life without parole

Monday, Feb. 3, 2014 12:53 PM
Last updated Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2014 1:43 AM
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Joshua Tremaine Jones pleaded guilty but mentally ill Monday in the 2012 slaying of Aiken Public Safety Master Cpl. Sandy Rogers.

Joshua Tremaine Jones pleaded guilty but mentally ill Monday in the slaying of Aiken Public Safety Master Cpl. Sandy Rogers.  FILE/STAFF
FILE/STAFF
Joshua Tremaine Jones pleaded guilty but mentally ill Monday in the slaying of Aiken Public Safety Master Cpl. Sandy Rogers.


In a plea deal, Jones, 28, was sentenced to life without parole by Judge Jack Early of the 2nd Judicial Circuit, said Jones’ attorney, Boyd Young.

Before the sentencing, a court psychiatrist testified that Jones has a significant mental health history and a family history of schizophrenia, Young said. The psychiatrist diagnosed Jones as a schizophrenic.

Jones also pleaded guilty but mentally ill to unlawful possession of a weapon, possession of a weapon during a violent crime, failure to stop for blue lights and petty larceny.

Rogers was shot in the head about 7:30 a.m. Jan. 28, 2012, after responding to a call of suspicious activity at Eustis Park. Investigators said Jones had gone to the park after fleeing the Augusta apartment he shared with his girlfriend, Cayce Vice. Police later found Vice shot to death in her bed.

Jones faces murder charges in Georgia in the slaying of Vice.

Second Judicial Circuit Solicitor Strom Thurmond Jr. said Jones’ mental illness prompted plea negotiations rather than pursing trial with the possibility of the death penalty.

“We accepted this resolution before ultimately having to make that decision, understanding he has a serious mental health condition,” Thurmond said.

Six months before shooting Rogers, Jones shot himself in the head, causing brain injury, Thurmond said. A portion of his brain and bullet fragments were removed after the self-inflicted injury.

Young said the plea deal served justice to a mentally ill person.

“This outcome was in his best interest. I’m happy to have avoided the death penalty,” he said. “To try to execute someone who is as sick as him would not be justice.”

Jones will be incarcerated in a maximum-security prison with a mental health facility, Thurmond said.

Another suspect in the slaying of an Aiken Public Safety officer will go to trial this year. Stephon Morrell Carter, charged with the Dec. 20, 2011, killing of Officer Scotty Richardson, is scheduled for trial in November, Thurmond said.

Richardson died after a shootout with Carter after a traffic stop on Brandt Court. Public Safety Officer Travis Griffin was hit first but was protected by a bulletproof vest.

Carter, who was wounded by police and captured, was charged with murder and attempted murder. He remains in the Aiken County Detention Center.

Thurmond has filed notice that he will seek the death penalty against Carter.

In a statement Tuesday, Aiken Public Safety commended the community for its support since Rogers’ death and the authorities who investigated and prosecuted Jones.

“We are grateful for the support that we received, and continue to receive, from our community,” the statement said. “We applaud the professionalism, dedication and hard work of the Second Judicial Circuit Solicitors Office, the State Law Enforcement Division and all the officers and individuals involved in the investigation, arrest, detention and prosecution of this case.”

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rmwhitley
5547
Points
rmwhitley 02/03/14 - 05:24 pm
0
0
Life
Unpublished

without parole is a death sentence for future victims. "Mentally ill" or not, this case screamed for the DEATH penalty. It could easily be a HATE CRIME for Cpl. Rogers and Ms. Vice. The perp, being allowed to live, should have to live with his lawyer until he dies.

corgimom
34052
Points
corgimom 02/03/14 - 05:40 pm
13
5
He pled this to avoid the

He pled this to avoid the death penalty.

He wasn't too mentally ill to run from the police and to flee after he murdered his girlfriend.

My sincere condolences to the partner of Cpl. Sandy Rogers, her family, and her many friends.

GnipGnop
12465
Points
GnipGnop 02/03/14 - 08:54 pm
13
3
Who cares if he's mentally ill...

that is such a cop out....he should be put down not put up for life.

teaparty
11313
Points
teaparty 02/03/14 - 09:06 pm
10
4
He is mad dog and should be
Unpublished

He is mad dog and should be put down. He will kill again.

KSL
134308
Points
KSL 02/04/14 - 03:22 am
7
1
Just a burden for decent

Just a burden for decent taxpaying people going forward.

KSL
134308
Points
KSL 02/04/14 - 03:23 am
4
1
Who did his hair?

Who did his hair?

myfather15
55764
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myfather15 02/04/14 - 07:11 am
6
0
I've been trying to stay away

I've been trying to stay away from these sentencing articles; this one and the one where the man got life with parole for shooting his wife.

Simply because I have NOTHING good to say about any of them. The left have been successful in their efforts to do away with the death penalty!! Today, there is nothing you can do to get the death penalty!!

itsanotherday1
45345
Points
itsanotherday1 02/04/14 - 07:37 am
4
0
I can't go along with

I can't go along with killing/euthanizing people who are not mentally competent. However, they should be permanently removed from society at the first sign of violent behavior.

In this case though, I'm not so sure this guy is as insane as he acts. The facial expressions, hair-do, etc. seem like a facade to me.

itsanotherday1
45345
Points
itsanotherday1 02/04/14 - 07:45 am
2
2
I will go on to say it is a

I will go on to say it is a very sticky, complicated situation when dealing with the mentally ill. Many can lead relatively normal lives when under treatment, but what happens if they unilaterally decide to go off their meds? They can be a menace to society at that point.

I recall the killing out at Georgia Regional some years back when a young man under treatment went off his meds and went to Ga Reg with a shotgun, murdering a woman at the front lobby.

Can you keep a person locked up who is functionally normal when under treatment, especially if they have never shown a criminal propensity? Dunno- that is a tough question I don't have an answer for.

nocnoc
44887
Points
nocnoc 02/04/14 - 08:42 am
4
0
Death Penalty ROI vs LOE ?

FOOD FOR THOUGHT
The Death Penalty has another reason that is seldom discussed besides Social Community Justice.

It has an under-laying Morale & Safety valve.
Criminals were supposed to understand that killing a LEO was an Automatic Death Penalty. It was supposed to add another protective layer / shield, so to speak.

I expect the number of Suspects who die in "Good Shoots" to increase as more DA's guard their $$$$ Budgets instead guarding Justice.

nocnoc
44887
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nocnoc 02/04/14 - 08:49 am
5
0
BTW:

Why is he running loose, if he is a NUT JOB?

What was that ACLU legal case back in the late 80's early 90's that
opened the mental ward doors?

I remember, the Touchy-Feeley Crowd's argument.

"Why lock them up if they can be treated with a pill and out patient care?"

SERIOUSLY
We need to start holding these Pipe Dreamers responsible by NAME for their failing social experiments.

jimmymac
42872
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jimmymac 02/04/14 - 09:18 am
1
0
INSANE
Unpublished

Insane or not this guy murdered three people. For the life of me I can't understand the girlfriends attraction to this loser. The death of the police officer should have meant automatic death penalty. As Corgi said he wasn't too insane to try and get away.

Marinerman1
5068
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Marinerman1 02/04/14 - 09:35 am
6
0
Exceptions To The Rule

There are exceptions to every rule. There comes a time every now and then, that you must make good on the previous statement. In this case, this worthless excuse for human protoplasm, insane or not, should be executed. I feel the same about Charles Manson.

InChristLove
22481
Points
InChristLove 02/04/14 - 10:02 am
3
2
I tend to lean toward his

I tend to lean toward his behavior being over emphasized, but the young man definitely has some mental issues. "A portion of his brain and bullet fragments were removed after the self-inflicted injury."

Life without parole means he will never be free and the family and friends of all three victims (because his girlfriend was pregnant) he killed will not have to endure apeal after apeal.

Maybe because I try and look at things through the eyes of Christ, I can not help but think, If Christ has enough love to forgive me for sending him to the cross, maybe I can have an ounce of compassion for this trouble soul. Not that I ever want him to be able to be in society again but ultimately there is a chance, with therapy and medication, just maybe his soul will have a chance to be saved. Of course, that's just me and I'm sure there are those out there that think that's looney.

So be it.

myfather15
55764
Points
myfather15 02/04/14 - 02:14 pm
3
0
Correct

"I will go on to say it is a very sticky, complicated situation when dealing with the mentally ill. Many can lead relatively normal lives when under treatment, but what happens if they unilaterally decide to go off their meds?"

So, when they've treated him and determined he is no longer a threat to society; he can come be YOUR neighbor!! I don't want him anywhere near me!!!

My gosh, I'm not talking about killing the mentally ill for petes sake!! But once someone has committed MURDER, I'm all for the death penalty, regardless of his mental status!! Are they really FIT to be out in society? What's the purpose of keeping them locked up like animals their entire lives? They have TAKEN A LIFE, they are dangerous, so their life should be taken. End of story!! Society is a safer place for it!!

myfather15
55764
Points
myfather15 02/04/14 - 02:17 pm
3
0
Do you know how many life

Do you know how many life without parole inmates in up killing again in prison? LOTS!!!

I wouldn't want to be his cellmate either!! Where is the compassion for whomever is going to have to live with him?

Judging his SOUL, is up to God!! His WORD, makes it clear what to do with murderers and society would be better off folllowing His Word!!

lifelongresident
1323
Points
lifelongresident 02/04/14 - 02:46 pm
0
0
everyone you must understand
Unpublished

everyone you must understand this person.."he be jess a lil teched in dey head cause wen he growed up he aint not hab he daddy in dey house and dat lack of proper food cause he mammy has 5 ouh-dah keids in dey house and she not git no child souppout so she had to use her foo stamps. so by hab0bin only hur foo stamps he aint not git proper meal so he wit crazy in dey head so he shoot dat cop cause da racism/racist any not gib him free money and dey stopped him from learnin he let-tahs and num-bahs in schuul, so dats why slabe-bery made him hab black rage and shoot dat cop dead, but he aint not means it fo sho...aint he say he "sorry" guut enoff??"

InChristLove
22481
Points
InChristLove 02/04/14 - 04:26 pm
0
1
His WORD makes it clear

His WORD makes it clear myfather15?

The Savage Madame
613
Points
The Savage Madame 02/04/14 - 04:43 pm
2
0
This killer deserves to be

This killer deserves to be put to death. He has taken three lives, he admitted to them all. Mentally stable people do not kill others, unless in self defense, or war, or accidents.

InChristLove
22481
Points
InChristLove 02/04/14 - 05:08 pm
0
1
Exactly Savage

Exactly Savage Madame....mentally stable people do not. The issue is, do we put to death those who are NOT mentally stable.

GnipGnop
12465
Points
GnipGnop 02/04/14 - 05:15 pm
3
0
Religion should not come into play

when dealing with a murderer. He should be put down because every day he lives he puts others at risk of death and injury. Other prisoners, prison guards, medical staff etc. etc.

InChristLove
22481
Points
InChristLove 02/04/14 - 05:22 pm
0
1
(myfather15) "Do you know how

(myfather15) "Do you know how many life without parole inmates in up killing again in prison? LOTS!!!

I wouldn't want to be his cellmate either!! Where is the compassion for whomever is going to have to live with him? "

Yes myfather15, prision is a very harsh place to spend life and I'm sure there are a lot of killings inside. I wouldn't want to be his cellmater either or any other cellmate for that matter. Compassion for whomever lives with him? How do we not know that maybe God's hand is in this and He going to place the right individual in that cell with this young man who can reach him for Christ? His cellmate could be just as mean and messed up as he is....we don't know, you're right.

There are strong opinions on both side of the issue whether scripture supports the death penalty or not. According to the Old Covenant, the Law supports it, but under the New Covenant (IMO) is does not.

The question is, do we follow the laws under the Old Covenant or do we follow the teachings of Christ under the New Covenant given to us by God after the resurrection of His Son? In the Old Testament the word Torah or law is always used in the singular sense. In the NT. the word for law in Greek is nómos it is also used in the singular. In Matthew 28:20 after the resurrection of Jesus, he meets with his disciples and commands them to go into all the world and teach. Verse 20 states “Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.” These were not the commandments of the Old Mosaic law. The word used here is “Entole” which means precept” teaching” which is the teachings of Christ. Physical death is not longer a requirement for sin because ultimately He paid that price on the cross. 1 Thess. 4:2: “for you know what commandments we gave you through the Lord Jesus.” Notice it was not by the law of Moses (the 10 commandments). Jesus did not come to destroy the Law but to fulfill it, through His death, His resurrection, His forgiveness and His salvation. If He fulfills the Law through His Grace, then there is no need for death.

Do I think this young man should be punished, absolutely. Do I want him out in society, absolutely not. Each person has their own thoughts on this matter according to their own personal belief. Jn.15:12 says “this is my commandment that you love one another as I have loved you.” God has forgiven those who choose to believe on Him and offers forgiveness. He holds us accountable but it is not through death. In the Old Testament, death was one of the ways to rid a society of sinful behavior because they did not have the forgiving Grace of Jesus Christ., but the penalty for sin is no longer death, and if there is even a small chance that a soul can be saved, even if the body is incarcerated for life, is it right for us to take this life before Christ has a chance to convict him and his soul converted.

This is only my belief and you are perfectly entitled to yours but I must say, it isn't so much as what you are saying as to how you are saying it. It just doesn't reflex much fruit of the spirit, so to speak.

InChristLove
22481
Points
InChristLove 02/04/14 - 05:30 pm
0
1
Gnip Gnop, I can not help but

Gnip Gnop, I can not help but form my views according to my religious beleifs. It is my life and I can not view them by the world's standard. I stated my view and other's have stated there's, and that is fine. We live in this world and have to punish criminals and follow laws by man's standards and I get that. I might not always agree but that's life. My only objection is for someone who professes to love Jesus, follow His teachings and live their life according to His doctrine, to spout such hatefill comments, and in my view misinterpret scripture, it just troubles me. As I stated earlier, others will not agree with me and that is fine.

myfather15
55764
Points
myfather15 02/04/14 - 06:13 pm
2
0
This argument will be too long and I don't have the time now

Christ's own words: Matthew 5:17 "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil."

He didn't do away with the law, but the blood sacrifices or ordinances!! I've always disagred with this belief and always will.

There are too many scriptures to list, which declare that a murderer, should be put to death. Their souls are NOT doomed, because God knows their heart. You're assuming that just because they die this flesh death, that there is no hope for them. I disagree; because GOD knows there heart AND TRULY knows the mental disabilities they might have, during this lifetime. Judging their SOULS, is NEVER our job, in this life or the next. But administering punishment during THIS life IS our business, commanded by Him!! That's the aspect I disagree with.

Our society would be better off if we listen to His Word!! Once again, let me make this clear for anyone who doesn't comprehend my words!! I'm NOT saying we put mentally ill people to death for ANY other reason. But when they've MURDERED someone and PROVEN themselves to be a danger to society; yes, I agree with the death penalty!! There is no reason to keep them alive!! We will NOT treat them and release them back into society!! So, give them to HIM and let HIM deal with them righteously!!

myfather15
55764
Points
myfather15 02/04/14 - 06:18 pm
2
0
ICL

Honestly, I'm not trying to be disrespectful, but there are MANY verses in the Bible that people would say "doesn't reflex much fruit of the spirit, so to speak."

God's word is NOT all love and forgiveness!! Yes, we should focus most of our attention to Christ's love, but to deny the wrath and anger which HE states is coming, is denying reality!!

Even Christ Himself warns us of this; Matthew 10:34 "Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword."

I don't always try to comfort everyone. I witness about the TOUGH LOVE as well!!

InChristLove
22481
Points
InChristLove 02/04/14 - 07:43 pm
0
2
(myfather15) "but there are

(myfather15) "but there are MANY verses in the Bible that people would say "doesn't reflex much fruit of the spirit, so to speak.""

Myfather15, it wasn't scripture I was referring to that did not reflex the fruit of the spirit. It was your condemning judgment in your comment I found not very loving, kind, gentle or in self control. Just my opinion.

"Christ's own words: Matthew 5:17 "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil."

Yes indeed myfather15. He didn't destroy it, He fulfilled the law and covered it with His Grace. “Fulfill” is used at least twelve times by Matthew, and the word points to something coming into being to which the Scripture pointed forward. The law dealt with sin through blood sacrifice and death. Christ death fulfill the law (or death punishment). He has stood in all of our death place because sin is sin and one is not any more or less than the other. The death penalty for murder is man's law and I'll understand that we must abide by it. because we live in this world but (IMO) is goes against what God teaches.

(myfather15) "You're assuming that just because they die this flesh death, that there is no hope for them." Where is there hope when they are dead?

Hebrews 9:27 "And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, " Myfather, I do believe that's pretty clear that when you die, judgment comes and there are no second chances for salvation. Revelation 20:15 tells us "And if anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire."

" So, give them to HIM and let HIM deal with them righteously!!" His righteous judgment will send him to Hell if he has never accepted Christ and once he's dead there is no chance for redemption so are you confident that this man is a child of God who has just lost his way and bear no responsibility for putting him to death. I'm not judging this boy's soul, I'm saying give every opportunity to save it. It that means life in prison, so be it. Man's law say life without parole so why the hatred and wishing him death?

Never thought you would stoop to take scripture out of context.
"Matthew 10:34 "Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword."

This scripture is in reference to the division we have between believers and non-believers and has nothing to do with the death penalty or judgment on someone. Christ was speaking about the division that devoted believers who follow Christ and the conflict even within families between mother and father, daughter and parents, siblings, etc with those who do not believe in Christ. The word "sword" is in reference to His Word.

InChristLove
22481
Points
InChristLove 02/04/14 - 07:57 pm
0
2
myfather15, I can no more

myfather15, I can no more deny the wrath and anger of God than to deny the love and forgiveness. The death penalty is not God's wrath, it is man's, and wishing a man dead just because you do not see any worthiness or need in him is neither loving or forgiving. Man's law sentenced him to life without possibility of parole and I assume you think everyone who is sentenced to this should just go ahead and get the wack job. Thank the Lord He had other plans for Peter and Paul or by your standards they would have been just another unworthy criminal who served no purpose.

GnipGnop
12465
Points
GnipGnop 02/04/14 - 09:21 pm
1
0
I understood your comment...

I was just saying that when it comes to punishment of someone like this the bible has nothing to do with the punishment he should get.

myfather15
55764
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myfather15 02/05/14 - 09:45 am
2
0
I typed an entire rebuttal to

I typed an entire rebuttal to many of your opinions; but then I deleted it. I don't want to get into a lengthy discussion with a fellow Christian.

So, I'm going to reduce it to just one question, so that I may research it myself.

Can you provide where it the Bible it says all sin is the same or equal?

InChristLove
22481
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InChristLove 02/05/14 - 11:18 am
0
1
myfather15, why would you not

myfather15, why would you not wish to get into a lengthy discussion with a fellow Christian? How else does one learn if not in discussion.

"He has stood in all of our death place because sin is sin and one is not any more or less than the other"

I see you zeroed in on the one thing that could be questioned and I'll give you, that my statement could have been made more clear. Sin is sin in the eyes of God and I suppose that each sin could be weighed differently in severity but the consequences of sin, is the same or equal. This is what I should have said and I apologize for the misunderstanding. The wages of sin is death (spiritual death) and although we view sin in different degrees of severity, the consequence is the same. Christ teaches that looking at a woman with lust in your heart is sin, just as actually committing adultry is sin. Both are sin (and this is where I horrible made the point that sin is sin) but I think we would agree that thinking about it isn't as horrible as actually doing it. Same with murder. Simply hating someone isn't the same as actually committing murder but (the sin of hatred and the sin of murder are both sins).

Are all sins equal to God? Yes and no. In severity? No. In penalty? Yes. In forgivability? Yes.

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