Man convicted of murdering his grandfather asks for new trial - - Jackson, MS

Man convicted of murdering his grandfather asks for new trial

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JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - A man convicted of murdering his grandfather has asked for a new trial, saying his attorneys should have presented more evidence that showed the killing was self defense.

Brett Jones, who is serving a life sentence, was convicted in the 2004 death of Bertis Jones, 68, who was slain at his home in Shannon after being stabbed repeatedly with a steak knife. Brett Jones, who was then 15, and his grandfather had argued over a telephone bill, prosecutors said.

Brett Jones said in court documents his trail attorneys failed to show the jury an accurate layout of the kitchen, where the fight began. That could have persuaded a jury that he was trapped by the older man, with no way to escape, he said.

The state Court of Appeals has scheduled arguments for March 30.

The court upheld Jones' murder conviction and sentence in 2006, and a Lee County judge turned down his post conviction petition in 2009.

At trial, Brett Jones testified trial that his grandfather, who he described as a big man, pushed him and yelled at him, according to court documents. He said he had a steak knife because he was making a sandwich and he stabbed his grandfather repeatedly when he kept coming at him.

His girlfriend, Michelle Austin, testified he told her after the argument that he wanted to hurt his grandfather, according to court documents. Austin pleaded guilty in 2005 to accessory to murder after the fact and was given a suspended sentence.

The Appeals Court ruled in 2006 that while there was conflicting testimony, such issues were up to the jury to sort out.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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