SOUTH BAY, Fla. (AP) — The nation’s youngest convicted murderer was released from a Florida prison Tuesday after serving 16 years of an 18-year sentence.
Florida Today (http://on.flatoday.com/1fDJkKv ) reports that 29-year-old Curtis Jones was released from the South Bay Correctional Facility at 7 a.m.
In 1999 Jones — then 12 years old — was arrested and convicted of second-degree murder along with his 13-year-old sister, Catherine Jones, after plotting to kill a male relative who they said sexually abused them. They also planned to kill their father and his girlfriend, Sonya Nicole Speights. Home alone with Speights, they decided to kill her first. They shot her, panicked and fled into the woods near their Brevard County home. They were arrested the next day.
Florida Today had previously reported that child welfare investigators had found signs the siblings were being sexually abused as early as four months before the murder.
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The relative had been convicted in 1993 of sexually assaulting his girlfriend’s daughter and lived in the house with the children, sharing a room with Jones.
Another investigation, in 1996, happened after Jones had a bruised and swollen eye.
Officials failed to take action after each investigation, according to Florida Today.
Jones had not been formally disciplined for breaking any rules and is now an ordained minister, according to the Florida Department of Corrections.
The database also says Catherine Jones is scheduled to be released from Hernando Correctional Institution Aug. 1.
Information from: Florida Today (Melbourne, Fla.), http://www.floridatoday.com