The two suspects arrested in connection with the fatal shooting of UCSB graduate student Jarrod Davidson now face two felony counts each and possible sentences of life in prison.
Malinda Jones, 49, and her husband Philip Jones, 50, will enter their pleas of guilty or not guilty at their upcoming arraignment, which has been rescheduled for Feb. 9. Senior Deputy District Attorney Darryl Perlin, who will be prosecuting the case, said the arraignment was originally set for Jan. 26 but was postponed to allow evaluation of whether Philip Jones qualifies for representation by a public defender.
Davidson, who is the ex-son-in-law of Malinda and Philip Jones, was shot at close range in front of his Goleta apartment the morning of July 9, 2004.
“It was a cold-blooded execution, and underlying it all is a bitter family law court battle,” Perlin said.
Both Malinda Jones, who was arrested Jan. 7, and Philip Jones, who was arrested Jan. 25, remain in custody without bail, Perlin said. He said the charges facing the two suspects include murder with special circumstances – the act of lying in wait – and conspiracy to commit murder.
Perlin said the District Attorney’s office will recommend life in prison without possibility of parole as the maximum penalty for the couple if the case goes to trial, which he says he expects it will.
“We did not feel that this case merited the death penalty, considering the suspects’ age and a number of other factors,” Perlin said.