Springfield Federal Inmate Convicted of Murder

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — A federal jury in Springfield has found an inmate at the Medical Center for Federal Prisoners in Springfield guilty of murdering another inmate.

The Acting U.S. Attorney for western Missouri says Ulysses Jones Jr., 61, was found guilty Wednesday following a two-day trial.  Jurors found him guilty of one count of first degree murder, one count of murder by a federal prisoner serving a life term, and one count of assaulting another inmate with the intention of killing him.

Prosecutors said Jones stabbed to death fellow inmate Timothy Baker on January 9, 2006, while he was sleeping.  Prosecutors also said Jones tried to kill another inmate by stabbing him multiple times with a sharpened piece of metal.

Prosecutors say the motive for the attacks was inmates suspected Jones and another inmate were stealing from them.

The penalty phase of the trial will begin Wednesday afternoon. Jurors will sentence Jones to either life in federal prison without parole, or death.

Jones’ attorney Thomas Carver said Jones has bad kidneys and is slowly dying.  Carver told the Springfield News-Leader if Jones is sentenced to death, Carver said, he will likely die at some point during the decade-long appeals process that accompanies most capital cases.

“He suffers from end-stage renal disease,” Carver said. “That is a terminal disease. He will die from it.”

Carver said his client’s illness helps explain why authorities took four years to charge Jones with Baker’s killing and another seven years to bring the case to trial.

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