Catherine and Curtis Jones, a sister and brother who will soon be released from jail reports say. The siblings became the center of a debate back in 1999 when they –then ages 13 and 12 respectively –were charged with first degree murder meaning they were judged as adults and doomed to serve an 18-year sentence for the killing of their father’s girlfriend, a woman by the name of 29-year-old Nicole Speights.
When you think about what happened on Jan. 6, 1999 and you try to picture 12-year-old Curtis Jones shooting at Speights –who was at the family home with the children after their father had left –and hitting her in the chest with four out of nine bullets shot; the first thing you might think is that, they are cold blooded killers, who plot the killing of Speights at just 13 and 12 but you would have to go deeper in their story to find out they were the victims for a long time.
Lawyer and Florida State University professor Paolo Annino said in a 2009 article “This is a case, in which all the systems failed these kids.”
Catherine and Curtis did plan to kill their father, his girlfriend and a male relative, their motives? They said the relative was sexually abusing them but neither their father or his girlfriend believed them.
The brother and sister grew frightened after the first kill and ran into the woods until they were found by police in the morning.
At first they said the whole thing was an accident but by that time they had moved Speights body and tried to clean the blood. It was obvious it wasn’t an accident Lt. Tod Goodyear –the lead investigator –said.
At the time Police, attorneys and newspapers reported the children killed the girlfriend, because they were jealous of attention their father was giving her. However, documents, from DCF and the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office, depict a family mired in violence.
Their parents, Stacie Parks and Curtis Jones had a volatile relationship that ended in marriage despite Jones hit Parks early in the relationship. Just a few months after their nuptials she left him for good, leaving behind 4-year-old Catherine and 3-year-old Curtis.
Soon after their mother left a family member came to their home, this person that hasn’t been named, once spent six years in prison in Alabama for strong-arm robbery — settled in Titusville. In 1993, the family member was arrested and later convicted of having *** with a 14-year-old girl.
During a visit to his mother, Curtis the 8, said he was being molested by their relative. At age 13, Catherine ran away from home According to DCF documents. She also revealed at one point she was being molested by the same relative but the siblings changed their story a number of times, Catherine said her father intimidated her into lying.
Their father was warned that the family member she had accused shouldn’t be in their house because he was a convicted pedophile.
After their claims were dismissed by their father and the case closed by the DCF, Catherine –who has been the only one willing to talk about what happened –said what hurt most was that her father ignored her claims.
That’s when she began to think the only way to get her and her brother out of the abusive situation was to kill everyone who allowed it. Curtis said he would help her.
Catherine married a pen pal a few years ago while brother Curtis was ordained a minister while behind bars the NY Daily News reports.
What do you think, killers or victims?