Ashley Jones

Ashley Jones, 14, and her boyfriend Geramie Hart, 16, brutally murdered Jones’s grandfather and aunt. The Equal Justice Initiative outright lied about the case, claiming that Jones was only trying to escape violence and abuse.

Facts

“Geramie Hart, who celebrated his 16th birthday a few weeks before these crimes, and his 14-year-old girlfriend, Ashley Jones, apparently planned to kill members of Ashley’s family because her family did not approve of Ashley’s relationship with Hart….”

“Late in the evening on August 29, 1999, Deroy was in the den watching television. His wife, daughter, and younger granddaughter were asleep in their rooms. Ashley let Hart into the house; he was armed with Deroy’s .38 caliber pistol, which Ashley had given him earlier.
Ashley and Hart entered the den, and Hart shot Deroy twice in the face. Deroy did not die immediately; he stumbled toward the kitchen. Ashley and Hart then entered Millie’s bedroom and shot her three times.”

“When Ashley realized her aunt was still breathing, she hit her in the head with a heater, stabbed her in the chest and attempted to set her room on fire. Mary Nalls, hearing the gunshots, awakened and began to step out of bed. Geramie and Ashley entered her room and shot her once in the shoulder. Geramie continued to pull the trigger, but there were no more bullets.”

“Ashley and Hart returned to discover that Deroy was still alive. Hart hit him with various objects and stabbed him repeatedly, leaving the knife in his back. Ashley poured charcoal lighter fluid on her grandfather and set him on fire. Ashley’s sister, Mary, woke up and Ashley led her into the kitchen area. She saw her grandfather on the floor of the den; he was on fire but still alive, Mary said. Hart forced Deroy Nalls to disclose where he kept his money, and
after Mr. Nalls complied, Hart stabbed him in the throat.”

“Mrs. Nalls, who survived after being stabbed, could not remember whether Hart or Ashley had stabbed her. Ashley poured the charcoal fluid on Mrs. Nalls, then they set her on
fire. Ashley and Hart watched Mrs. Nalls burn, and Hart urged Ashley to pour more of the flammable liquid on her. Mary Jones attempted to leave the kitchen, but Ashley grabbed her sister and began hitting her. Hart pointed the gun at the 10-year-old and said, ‘This is how you are going to die.’ Ashley said, ‘No, let me do it,’ and stabbed her sister 14 times. Hart and Ashley piled sheets, towels, and paper on the floor and set the pile on fire. “Hart and Ashley took $300 that was hidden beneath Deroy and Mary Nalls’s mattress and drove away in the Nallses’ vehicle. Mary Jones, who had pretended to be dead, helped her grandmother out of the house and contacted others for assistance.”

The Lies

The Equal justice Initiative wrote the following on page 25 of Cruel and Unusual: Sentencing 13 and 14-Year-Old Children to Die in Prison.

“At 14, Ashley tried to escape the violence and abuse by running away with an older boyfriend who shot and killed her grandfather and aunt. Her grandmother and sister, who were injured during the offense, want Ashley to come home.”

Sources

https://eji.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/cruel-and-unusual.pdf

Research from the Heritage Foundation’s Adult Time For Adult Crime.

Hart v. Alabama, 852 So.2d 839, 842 (Ala. Crim. App. 2002).

Order Finding Fact from Guilt Phase of Trial at 2, State v. Jones (Ala. 10th Cir. Ct. 2002) (No. CC2000-0151).

Hart, 852 So.2d at 842 (Ala. Crim. App. 2002).

http://s3.amazonaws.com/thf_media/2009/pdf/sr0065.pdf#page=63 Pages 57-60