Sherman Dwayne Jones was sentenced to 42 years in prison on November 14, 2017 after pleading guilty to the murder of his estranged wife. The 56-year-old Needville man was charged with the crime after violently stabbing the woman to death in front of their young children in 2011.
According to Assistant District Attorney Amanda Bolin, Chief of the Domestic Violence Division, ending an abusive relationship does not necessarily end the abuse. For some victims, it can make it worse. This time of separation is particularly dangerous and abusers can become increasingly controlling. Sherman Jones is a textbook example of a chronic domestic abuser. When his wife and mother of four of his children left him in the fall of 2011, he refused to accept it. On November 12, 2011, Jones used his children to lure Sapphira Kay Jones back to their small home in Needville, Texas. When an argument erupted between the two in front of their children, it quickly became violent with Jones repeatedly punching Sapphira. Their 11-year old son ran for help from nearby relatives when the abuse began. Jones then grabbed a large butcher knife from the kitchen and chased Sapphira out the front door and into the yard where she fought for her life and tried to leave. The last words she spoke to her 11-year old son were to “keep running!” as Jones yelled for him to “get back here.” With their 6, 7 and 8-year old children watching, Jones stabbed Sapphira at least a dozen times in the chest and left her for dead. When relatives arrived to the scene with the oldest child, Jones told them “she deserved it.”
Jones was previously convicted of assaulting an ex-wife, assaulting an ex-girlfriend with a weapon, and for sexually assaulting a cousin. All three prior victims were terrified of Jones but were willing to testify if there was a trial.
The four children, who are now ages 12, 13, 14 and 17, read a powerful victim impact statement after sentencing. They told their father that they look to him with disgust as the man they are not going to be and how they will not let this devilish act determine their future. Presenting a Victim Impact Statement to the court and the defendant is a right guaranteed to crime victims by Texas law.
Jones was prosecuted in the 400th District Court before Presiding Judge Maggie Jaramillo. Murder in this case is a first-degree felony punishable from 15 to 99 years or life in prison and a fine up to $10,000. Jones was not probation eligible. The sentence that will likely result in Jones dying in prison but also allowed the four boys to avoid testifying against their father.
Assistant District Attorneys Amanda Bolin and Tonika Davis prosecuted the case. Attorneys Michael Elliott and Ken Bryant represented the defendant.