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Police: Couple's alleged Geneseo murder plot was to gain house for themselves

Police: Couple's alleged Geneseo murder plot was to gain house for themselves


CAMBRIDGE — Getting the house all to themselves was the alleged motive behind a murder plot against a Geneseo couple.

Shannon J. Jones, 38, of Center Point, Ala., was charged Oct. 7 with two counts Class X felony attempted murder and two counts Class 1 felony conspiracy to commit murder.

At Tuesday's preliminary hearing, Geneseo Deputy Chief Gene Karzin testified that police officers were called to a Geneseo home by Jones and Justin Robert Sexton. Karzin said the male homeowner/victim told him that he had gone through a bedroom to get to the restroom and when he came out, the bedroom door was locked and blocked shut with a crowbar, and Sexton swung a 10-pound dumbbell at him.

Karzin said Sgt. Sleaford spoke with Jones, who said Sexton had a cut on his hand from a knife. She also said that she met Sexton online, in an online dating platform, and she believed they were engaged. To get to Geneseo from Alabama, she said she'd taken a bus to Chicago, where she'd been assaulted and hospitalized for a few weeks.

She also told the police that Sexton came up with the idea of murdering his two family members in the house with them, so they could have the residence to themselves. She said Sexton asked her to pick up the knife from him to stab the victim with. Instead, she sprayed the male victim's eyes with Febreze.

Additionally, an attempt was apparently made on the life of a female victim by putting prescription medications in her coffee. Sexton indicated it was Jones' idea to place sleeping pills in her coffee, and towards that end, they ground-up pills in a pill grinder.

Judge Terry Patton found probable cause to believe a felony was committed. He said prison is mandatory on the attempted murder charges, with a minimum of 20 years and a maximum of 60. The Class 1 conspiracy charges are, however, probational.

Public defender James Cosby said his client wished to enter a plea of not guilty and demand a jury trial. A pre-trial conference was set for Nov. 14. Jones remained in custody as of Tuesday on a $500,000 bond.

According to Karzin, there is a warrant out for Sexton's arrest.


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