The trial for Malinda Jones, the third defendant accused of participating in the 2004 murder of former UCSB graduate student Jarrod Davidson, is set for July, following a hearing that took place last Friday.
An employee at the Law Offices of Robert F. Landheer, the firm representing Jones, said Judge Frank Ochoa set July 7 as Malinda Jones’ trial date. Her preliminary hearing will begin May 5.
Jones, 51, is being tried for first-degree murder and lying in wait. The Grover Beach resident was Davidson’s former mother-in-law and is accused of allegedly helping her husband, Philip Jones, shoot and kill Davidson in front of his Goleta apartment.
The employee, who declined to give his name, said the preliminary hearing will address the format of the trial and the process leading up to it.
“At the status hearing they’ll discuss housekeeping things like the progress of discovery, any motions – things of that nature,” the employee said.
On Dec. 14th, Philip Jones pleaded guilty to first-degree murder charges and lying in wait after admitting that he fired the gun that killed Davidson. Philip Jones, who suffers from inoperable lung cancer, is now serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole.
Kelee Davidson, Jarrod Davidson’s ex-wife, pleaded guilty to two counts of perjury and one count of accessory to murder stemming from her testimony at the spring 2005 grand jury proceedings following Davidson’s murder. Kelee Davidson was sentenced to four years in state prison, including time served prior to sentencing.
The employee at Landheer’s firm said Philip Jones’s and Kelee Davidson’s sentencing will not affect Landheer’s strategy for Malinda Jones’s defense.
“Yes, we have a strategy. Our client is going to defend herself,” the employee said. “No, [the sentencing] doesn’t change it.”
Senior Deputy District Attorney Darryl Perlin, the prosecutor in the Davidson case, could not be reached for comment.