TUCSON, ARIZONA – June 15, 2023 – Barry Lee Jones was convicted of the First-Degree Murder of R.G., a 4-year-old child, in 1994 in a case prosecuted by the Pima County Attorney’s Office. Subsequent medical re-examination of the evidence does not support a finding of proof beyond a reasonable doubt that Barry Lee Jones caused the injury of R.G. The matter was thoroughly litigated by the Arizona Attorney General’s Office, the primary authority in this case and Mr. Jones’ defense lawyers over several years.
The evidence offered at trial does support a conviction for Second-Degree Murder of R.G., however, as Barry Lee Jones allowed R.G., who was under his care and custody, to die as a result of the injuries she suffered. Any reasonable person in the position of Mr. Jones would have witnessed the results of the trauma that R.G., suffered, and Barry Lee Jones’ failure to obtain medical assistance for R.G. supports a finding of Second-Degree Murder.
For these reasons, the Arizona Attorney General’s Office, in consultation with the Pima County Attorney’s Office, has agreed that his First-Degree Murder conviction should be vacated, and the Pima County Attorney’s Office offered a plea agreement to Second-Degree Murder which he accepted.
Mr. Jones will no longer face the death penalty, and instead will be re-sentenced to a term of imprisonment in the Arizona Department of Corrections, Rehabilitation, and Reentry to the maximum term of 25 years. He will receive credit for time served of, 29 years, and will therefore be released from prison after sentencing.
Laura Conover Statement in addition to Release:
“These are some of the most difficult decisions we face as prosecutors, trying to balance the rule of the law and in this case holding someone accountable for the death of an innocent 4-year-old child. What’s also important is having the courage to re-evaluate these cases thoroughly, while staying true to our responsibility of charging them accordingly with what is right in the eyes of the law. To that end Mr. Jones has been held more than accountable.”
The Pima County Attorney’s Office is committed to restorative justice, transparency, and accountability as the focus of a mission that also seeks alternatives to incarceration when appropriate, provides support for victims, and strives to be inclusive and equitable to all segments of the communities we serve in the pursuit of public safety and wellbeing.
Media Contact: Shawndrea Thomas
Director of Communications
Pima County Attorney’s Office
(520) 724-5738 (Office)
(520) 310-4720 (Mobile)