Summit County Juvenile Court Judge Linda Teodosio sentenced D’Marques Jones, 20, of Barberton, to life in prison, invoking the adult portion of Jones’ 2013 juvenile court sentence, according to a news release.
Jones will be eligible for parole after 25 years. Jones was 15 when sentenced to Ohio Department of Youth Services.
Jones was also labeled a Tier III sex offender. If Jones is ever released from prison, he will have to register with the local sheriff’s department every 90 days for the rest of his life.
In 2011, Jones was 15 when he brutally raped and murdered his 3-year-old half-sister Makayla, according to the release.
Doctors discovered Makayla’s colon was perforated and she was septic. Makayla died a few days later when she was taken off life support. At the time, the Summit County Prosecutor’s Office fought to have Jones tried as an adult for the crime. The Summit County Juvenile Court determined Jones was amenable to rehabilitation and retained jurisdiction, according to the release.
On December 13, 2012, a Summit County jury found Jones guilty of murder and rape. Because of changes to the law, this was the first jury trial in Summit County Juvenile Court history.
In January of 2013, Jones received a “blended” juvenile and adult sentence, and was placed in the custody of the Ohio Department of Youth Services until his 21st birthday. With a blended sentence, the juvenile is required to successfully complete all required programs and have no conduct violations by age 21, according to the news release.
If they are successful, they are released from jail. If they are not successful, the juvenile may be ordered to complete the additional adult sentence. The Department of Youth Services maintains jurisdiction over a juvenile until they turn 21.
Following the jury’s verdict, Jones refused to engage in court ordered sex offender treatment. Three years after his sentence, in March of 2016, Jones eventually agreed to be placed in the first of two phases of sex offender treatment but did not successfully complete that program.
ODYS records documented Jones’ desire to put off his treatment as long as possible, and he never expressed remorse towards his victim for what he did, according to the news release.
Even at his sentencing hearing, D’Marques Jones gave an impassioned plea to the court apologizing for not working harder at treatment and for the harm he’s done his family, but never once did he acknowledge the harm he did to his 3-year-old victim, according to the release.
The Summit County Prosecutor’s Office requested the court to impose the suspended adult sentence to protect the community from the substantial risk Jones posed upon his imminent release: as an untreated and unsupervised sex offender and murderer.
The court recognized that risk and granted the motuion.
The average juvenile sex offender sent to the ODYS spends between one and one-and-a-half years there, and is able to complete sex offender treatment in seven to nine months. D’Marques Jones was committed to ODYS for over three-and-a-half-years and could not successfully complete even half the sex offender treatment program, according to the release.
“Our job is to protect the community and keep the citizens of Summit County safe,” said Prosecutor Walsh. “D’Marques Jones refused to undergo sex offender treatment after he raped and murdered his 3-year-old sister. Allowing him to go into the community untreated and unsupervised after such a heinous crime was not an option.”