Julius Darius Jones is an African-American man born in Oklahoma, United States. He is accused of fatally shooting his fellow Oklahoman Paul Scott Howell.
Jones is Anthony Jones and Madeline Davis-Jones‘s son, Antonio Jones‘s younger brother and Antoinette Jones‘s older brother. Before Howell’s murder, Julius was a star basketball player at John Marshall High School in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
As basketball players, Julius and his friend Christopher Jordan were coached by Tommy Griffin, the father of National Basketball Association players Blake Griffin and Taylor Griffin. Julius is one year younger than Jordan.
Julius won a partial academic scholarship to The University of Oklahoma in Norman, Oklahoma but he withdrew during his second semester. Here are 13 more things about Jones:
- On December 17, 1998, he pleaded guilty to larceny of merchandise from a retailer.
- On January 26, 1999, he pleaded guilty to making a false declaration of ownership to a pawnbroker and concealed stolen property.
- On July 21, 1999, he allegedly pointed a gun at a doctor’s head and stole the doctor’s Lexus. On July 22, 1999, he allegedly pointed a gun at a man’s head and stole the man’s Mercedes. On July 27, 1999, the car was found in the parking lot of his apartment complex. The key was found in the glovebox of a car that he and Jordan shared and the victim identified him as the perpetrator.
- At around 9:30 p.m. on July 28, 1999, he allegedly fatally shot Howell in Edmond, Oklahoma and stole Howell’s 1997 GMC Suburban, which he used to flee the scene. Two confidential informants directed the police to him and Jordan as the perpetrators. Jordan was arrested on July 30, 1999 and he was arrested on July 31, 1999 and was charged with capital murder.
- On September 14, 1999, he pleaded guilty to robbery with firearms and possession of firearms.
- On October 4, 1999, he assisted his cellmate in assaulting a guard while he was awaiting trial for Howell’s murder.
- In 2001, Jordan said he was involved in the murder of Howell on July 28, 1999 as the getaway driver. Jordan pled guilty in the case in exchange for testifying against him.
- On March 4, 2002, a nearly all-white jury found him guilty of first-degree murder and recommended him receive the death penalty. On April 19, 2002, he was convicted of capital murder and sentenced to death.
- On June 13, 2006, he became a death-row prisoner. In 2014, Jordan was released from prison.
- In 2017, a deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) test linked him to the red bandana wrapped around the weapon used to murder Howell, which was found in his family’s home. Victoria Armstrong and and Jerry Brown were among the 12 jurors who convicted him on April 19, 2002 . On November 2, 2017, Armstrong revealed that during the trial on February 27, 2002, she informed the judge about a comment from Brown, who said it was a waste of time and they should “just take the n—-r out and shoot him behind the jail.” Brown was not removed from the jury. The court stated that Brown “could have been talking about Osama bin Laden.”
- In 2018, he was featured in “The Last Defense” Season 1. The documentary series’ episodes about him focused on evidence attorneys failed to present in court regarding Jordan. Since the documentary aired, several celebrities have expressed support for him including Kim Kardashian, Stephen Curry, Baker Mayfield and Russell Westbrook.
- In October 2019, he filed for clemency after exhausting all of his options to fight the death penalty while Kardashian took to social media to urge her followers to write to Oklahoma’s Pardon and Parole Board and Oklahoma governor Kevin Stitt to ask for clemency for him. In November 2020, she paid him a visit in jail.
- On October 27, 2021, he was granted a stay of execution. On October 28, 2021, it was announced that a request to vacate the stays of execution for him was granted. On November 1, 2021, Oklahoma’s Pardon and Parole Board recommended his sentence be commuted to life in prison with the possibility of parole in a 3-1 vote but Stitt said neither the state constitution nor state law give the board the authority to recommend that commutation. He was scheduled to be executed at 4:00 p.m. on November 18, 2021 at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester. At 12:45 p.m., he and his attorneys found out about the clemency granted by Stitt, who commuted his sentence to life in prison without the possibility of parole.