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Little Rock man who attacked father with brick sentenced to 30 years

Sentence comes after 2018 assault on his father with brick by John Lynch | April 3, 2022 at 2:17 a.m.
court gavel

A Little Rock parolee, whose December 2018 brick-wielding attack on his 77-year-old father was ended by the intervention of an armed neighbor, has accepted a 30-year prison sentence.

Kendell Lamar Jones, 43, told police that he went to his father's home to confront "evil" in the residence and "break the curse."

Joseph Jones Jr. died a short time later, but the subsequent autopsy found the wounds inflicted by his son, the youngest of his three children, to be superficial, causing no brain injuries.

Sentencing papers filed last week show that Jones pleaded guilty to first-degree domestic battering in exchange for the 30-year term imposed by Pulaski County Circuit Judge Karen Whatley. As part of the plea agreement negotiated by deputy prosecutor Michael Wright and Public Defender Andrew Thornton, four felony counts involving jail vandalism attributed to Jones were dropped.

Jones had been charged with first-degree murder until the autopsy was completed.

Police called to 2017 S. Dennison St. about a week before Christmas 2018 found the senior Jones bleeding profusely from head injuries on the front porch of the residence, the home of a neighbor. Officers arrived in time to see Kendell Jones walking toward a car parked in front of the home.

The neighbor, James Rogers, 66, told police that he'd been inside when he heard the sounds of a fight and looked out to see the elder Jones bleeding and lying on the front porch as Kendell Jones paced back and forth, saying something about his father being the devil.

Kendell Jones was holding something like a rock, Rogers said, telling detectives there were other rocks on the porch that hadn't been there before. Describing Kendell Jones as talking crazy, Rogers said he got his gun and showed it to Jones when he thought Jones was going to hit the older man again. Rogers told police he fired the gun into the ground to warn Jones away and the younger man turned around and walked off.

In custody, Kendall Jones, who was on parole for a December 2014 attack on his father, told detectives that "evil" was involved, saying he had been driving when he felt compelled to see his father.

"So I felt my head pulling, pulling " to the family home at 2024 S. Dennison St. where his father and cousin lived, Jones said during the 13-minute interview with detectives.

The lights were out at the home so Jones kicked in the back door "because I knew they was doing some evil stuff. It was no lights on in the house," he said. "And all these people riding around me, circling me. I'm minding my own business. I'm knowing what they trying to do. They know I got metal in the inside of my skin. I was born like that."

Jones said his father rushed him with a knife and they began fighting.

"When I went in the back door, he rushed me with a knife and I defended myself," Jones told detectives. "We went outside tussling. He had picked [the brick] up. I took it away from him."

Jones further stated he, his father and cousin had quarreled sometime in the past few months over something Jones had posted on Facebook about "evil stuff that they wishing death and it causing other stuff to happen other places. I got to break the curse, and that's what I did. I broke it today."

Jones told police that his father favored his cousin over him. He also described an argument with his father over ownership of the home, which had belonged to his mother, and concluded by telling the detectives he did not run from officers but had waited for them after the fight with his father.

Jones' lawyers questioned his sanity following his arrest. A mental evaluation concluded in June 2019 that Jones was not mentally ill after testing showed he appeared to be faking, noting he'd been similarly diagnosed as pretending to have mental illness in December 2016, following an earlier arrest. In 2020, he was again examined by state doctors who again found him to be faking after testing him again.

Court records show the 2018 attack came almost four years to the day of another attack on the elder Jones. In that case, police found Jones' father in the hospital emergency room after Jones had punched him several times in the face then taken his sister's car.

Jones was arrested that same day for second-degree domestic battering and posted bond but failed to show up for his May 2015 jury trial. Five months later, he was arrested in New York City and brought back to Arkansas in November 2015.

A mental evaluation raised questions about his mental health, and he was initially found not competent to stand trial. After treatment and observation by doctors, Jones was deemed competent in December 2016, with doctors concluding that he had been faking symptoms.

Jones pleaded guilty to the domestic battering charge and failure to appear in January 2017 and was sentenced to 50 months in prison, a little more than four years. Jones was approved for parole in July 2017.

Jones has been to prison previously. He was sentenced to 15 years in November 1996 when he pleaded guilty to armed robbery, theft and cocaine charges after participating in a March 1996 armed holdup when he was 17.

Court records show that Jones and two other men -- one of them armed -- forced their way into a home at 2314 Brown St. where they robbed the occupants, Sharon Merryman, Chris Forrest and Michael Peterson. The armed robber pointed the gun at a child who wandered into the room.

A neighbor saw the robbers fleeing and recognized Jones and another man. Both men were later arrested, but Jones' co-defendant was acquitted at a bench trial.

Print Headline: LR man gets 30 years in attack

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