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Marvin Barnett JONES





Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Debt dispute
Number of victims: 1
Date of murder: March 3, 1993
Date of birth: July 21, 1965
Victim profile: Monique Stow, 22
Method of murder: Shooting (.25 caliber pistol)
Location: Duval County, Florida, USA
Status: Sentenced to death on May 31, 1994

Florida Supreme Court

opinion 84014 opinion SC04-282

DC#  309567
DOB:  07/21/65

Duval County Case, Fourth Judicial Circuit, Case # 93-2757
Sentencing Judge, Trial: The Honorable R. Hudson Olliff
Attorney, Trial: Frank J. Tassone and Refik Eler – Private
Attorney, Direct Appeal: Lynn A. Williams – Private
Attorney, Collateral Appeals: Robert Norgard – Registry

Date of Offense: 03/03/93

Date of Sentence: 05/31/94

Circumstances of Offense:

Marvin Jones bought a used car from San Pablo Motors’ owner, Ezra Harold Stow, in Jacksonville, Florida.  Jones returned the vehicle the following month due to a “blown engine.”

Jones and Stow established an agreement to rebuild the engine at a cost of $1,500.  Jones was to pay Stow $800 up front and finance the remainder of the balance. 

After the repairs were done, Stow requested the $800, but instead Jones wrote Stow a check for $4,200, which was the remaining amount owed for the car and the cost of the repairs.  Jones then left in the repaired vehicle.

Jones wrote the check with the knowledge that he had bounced six other checks and only carried a balance of $5 in his checking account.  The bank notified Stow that the check bounced. 

Stow asked his 22-year-old daughter, Monique Stow, to call Jones about the bounced check.  Jones said that he would return to San Pablo Motors on March 3, 1992, to give Stow the money.

Jones arrived at the dealership at approximately 6:00 p.m. and entered the trailer where Stow’s office was located.  Jones said that he had to get something from his car and returned with a .25 caliber pistol. 

Jones shot Monique while she was washing her hands in the restroom.  She was shot between the eyes and behind her left ear. 

Upon hearing the shots, Stow reached for his gun.  Jones hurried into Stow’s office and aimed his gun towards Stow’s face.  As Jones fired the gun, Stow threw up his arm. 

The bullet went through his arm and nicked his head.  Stow collapsed behind his desk because he went unconscious momentarily.  Jones went around the desk and shot Stow a second time in the face.  The bullet entered his cheek, broke his jaw and was embedded in his neck. 

Jones left, taking with him the papers for the car that were on Stow’s desk.  Due to his injuries, Stow was incapable of speaking, yet prior to being taken to the hospital, he communicated through writing and gesturing that Jones was the perpetrator.  Stow survived, but his daughter, Monique, died late in the night.

Jones testified at trial that Stow agreed to hold the $4,200 check until he deposited the money in his account.  Jones said that on March 3, he gave Stow $4,200 in cash, but Stow became angry and requested another $2,000. 

Jones said that when Stow reached for his gun, he shot Stow in self-defense.  Jones got ill at the sight of Stow and went to the restroom.  Jones stated that when he heard a noise in the bathroom, he was startled and shot Monique reflexively.

Trial Summary:

03/18/93          Defendant indicted for the following

Count I:           First-Degree Murder

Count II:          Attempted First-Degree Murder

02/18/94          Defendant guilty on both counts

02/23/94          Jury recommended Death by a vote of 9-3

05/31/94          Defendant sentenced as follows:

Count I:           First-Degree Murder – Death

Count II:          Attempted First-Degree Murder – Life sentence

Case Information:

The Direct Appeal was filed with the Florida Supreme Court on 07/14/94.  Issues that were raised included whether the trial court erred in finding that the murder was committed for pecuniary gain and whether the trial court erred in giving the standard jury instruction to define cold, calculated, and premeditated aggravating circumstance. 

The Florida Supreme Court found all of the issues either harmless or without error and affirmed the conviction and sentence of Death on 12/26/96.

A Petition for a Writ of Certiorari was filed with the United States Supreme Court on 06/23/97 and denied on 10/06/97.

A 3.850 Motion was filed with the state circuit court on 09/17/98 and was denied on 01/23/04.

A 3.850 Motion Appeal was filed with the Florida Supreme Court on 02/25/04, citing the following issues: ineffective assistance of counsel, denying a request to interview jurors, and loss of trial counsel’s files in a fire.  On 04/13/06, the FSC affirmed the denial of the motion.



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