Death row inmate's attorney says witness identified the wrong man

Posted at 8:57 PM, Oct 29, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-29 23:17:01-04

OKLAHOMA CITY — Megan Tobey was the only eye witness in the murder of her brother Paul Howell in 1999. She described the shooter as a black man wearing a red bandana over his face and a stocking cap over his head.

A red bandana was later recovered inside Julius Jones’ room. In 2018, DNA testing confirmed his DNA on the bandana. But his attorney says its not that simple.

Jones' attorney says there were at least three male DNA profiles found on that bandana.

"Those samples were too degraded to tell when the DNA was left on the bandana," said attorney Dale Baich. “And because it was found in his room, there could be transfer DNA.”

Related Story: Death row inmate's family speaking out

As for the eye witness testimony of Megan Tobey, records show she told police she could not identify the shooter’s face and never identified Jones at trial.

“The person that Ms. Tobey described as being the shooter did not match the description of how Julius looked at the time," Baich said.

A mugshot of Jones taken 10 days before the murder for a different crime, shows Jones with short hair. Tobey described the shooter's hair as much longer.

Jones’ attorney says that matched the description of the co-defendant, Christopher Jordan. Jordan only served 15 years despite two people telling investigators he confessed to being the killer.

"Both men said that Chris Jordan said to them that he set Julius up for this crime," Baich said

The defense did not call those witnesses to the stand, because he said the jury would not believe them. As for Tobey, she says the DNA confirms Jones is her brother’s killer.

She says she does not go out after dark and does not unlock her front door. The family of Julius Jones had this message for her.

“I pray for their family every… every night, I do pray for them,” said Jones' sister.

In a statement, Governor Kevin Stitt's office says quote, “We are continuing to actively listen to Oklahomans and those involved in the Julius Jones case and wait for the pardon and parole board’s recommendation.”

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