Judge dismisses motion, rules that Jason Jones can face death penalty
HARTINGTON, Neb. -- A northeast Nebraska man could face the death penalty in the case of a quadruple homicide in Cedar County, a judge ruled Thursday.
According to court documents, District Judge Bryan Meismer dismissed a motion to quash submitted by Jason Jones' attorney, Todd Lancaster.
In his motion, Lancaster had argued that the sections of the Nebraska death penalty were "unconstitutional on their face or as applied to the defendant," with Lancaster citing aggravating circumstances.
Meismer called Lancaster's "attack" on the constitutionality of the death penalty "premature," stating that there was no an adequate record by which he could measure the current state of constitutionality.
The 42-year-old Jones is now set to be arraigned May 22 in Hartington.
Jones is accused of shooting four victims before setting their homes on fire in the early morning hours of Aug. 4. All of the deaths took place on Elm Street in Laurel, where Jones also lived.
The NSP identified the victims as 86-year-old Gene Twiford, 85-year-old Janet Twiford, 55-year-old Dana Twiford, as well as 53-year-old Michele Ebeling.
Jones had been hospitalized since being apprehended by authorities on Aug. 5. Authorities said Jones was found with severe burn injuries while they were serving a warrant at his home in Laurel. Jones was discharged Oct. 26 and transported to a Nebraska Department of Corrections facility in Lincoln.
In December, the Nebraska State Patrol arrested Jones' wife, Carrie Jones. She faces a first-degree murder charge in Gene Twiford's death.