Austin Jones Convicted of Murder of Korean War Veteran
GAINESVILLE- Austin Jones was convicted of murder Friday night. A jury found him guilty on all 10 charges against him, including first-degree murder. Jones and his cousin Maranda Martin attacked and killed Korean War veteran Paul Quandt in January 2012.
Paul Quandt Jr. said, "It closes one chapter and we're now prepared to move on to the next chapter, to the next phase of this process." For him and his family this chapter took two years to get to and they say they plan to see it through.
Day five of the Austin Jones murder trial began with closing arguments from the prosecution led by the state attorney's office.
On the stand Thursday, Jones admitted guilt in the beating and robbing of Quandt. He says he does not remember much from that night due to the Klonopin, an antidepressant he'd taken earlier that day. Two burglary and robbery charges were dismissed by the state attorney's office because of double jeopardy issues.
Family members on both sides of the courtroom say they are step closer to closure.
Jones' stepsister Kaylee Hampson said, "Our heart is with the Quandt family and they're in our prayers. We love everybody and it's just a hard day for everybody."
Quant Jr. said, "We're looking for justice and ultimately some punishment, but yeah it is a relief to have this part over."
The sentencing phase of the trial is scheduled to begin February 25th. At that point, the jury will recommend for or against a death penalty. Regardless of the jury's recommendation, the judge still has the final say in whether to sentence jones to death.
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