Curtis Jones, an American who became the country’s youngest convicted murderer at age 12 was released from prison Tuesday after serving 16 years for killing his father’s girlfriend.
Curtis Jones, now 29, was convicted alongside his 13-year-old sister Catherine Jones (now 30), and sent to prison in 1999.
He was released from Florida’s South Bay Correctional Facility at 7:00 am, a spokeswoman for the prison disclosed.
In 1999, the Jones children became the youngest people prosecuted as adults for murder in the United States after they confessed to killing their father’s girlfriend, Sonya Nicole Speights.
They also had planned to kill their father and a male relative who they said was sexually molesting them. No one believed they were being abused, even after investigators from what is now called the Department of Children and Families identified evidence of the abuse.
The siblings shot Speights with their father’s handgun, hitting her four times out of nine bullets fired.
As soon as they realized their tragic blunder, they tried to cover up the crime and ran to a neighbor’s house to say it was an accident. They eventually fled to a wooded area where they hid for the night before Brevard County Sheriff’s investigators found them near their Port St. John home on the morning of Jan. 7, 1999.
Jones will be on probation until the end of his life, according to the terms of his sentencing. His sister is scheduled to be released shortly.
Jones is now an ordained minister, according to US media.