Man sentenced for beating, robbing elderly neighbor
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A Pinch man was sentenced to 76 to 84 years in prison for beating, robbing and leaving an elderly neighbor for dead earlier this year.
After impassioned, sometimes explosive, comments from victim Ramona Jones' family members, Kanawha Circuit Judge Jennifer Bailey told Casey Givens, 21, that she would follow their request to match the years of the sentence to the victim's age.
Those in the courtroom for the hearing startled, and a bailiff quickly moved forward, when David Jones slammed a box of medical devices on a table and began shouting at Givens.
"You're a little terrorist," Jones said, pointing at Givens. His raw anger directed toward the young man was palpable.
He repeatedly delved into a box of tubes, bags and other medical devices and explained in detail the injuries suffered by his mother in the Feb. 28 attack.
"She died twice in the hospital, she stopped breathing," Jones said. "While you were out running around for ten days.
"She was a cancer survivor. You killed a woman who had breast cancer twice," Jones said.
Givens and Aaron Chapman broke into Jones' Pinch home, ransacked it and brutally beat the woman. They attempted to turn on a gas stove, throw it over and burn the home down afterward.
Jones wasn't found until several hours later. She suffered a broken collarbone, broken ribs and broken facial bones. She is now confined to a wheelchair.
Her son said, "And I had to clean up that mess you left. The blood spatter came all the way up to the thermostat on the wall. There's a bloodstain on the floor that will never come out.
"I hope you are proud of yourself," he said.
Givens didn't avoid Jones' piercing stare as he spoke. He looked at him steadily, swallowing hard several times.
Behind him, his parents wept openly as they, too, listened to the woman's family plead for the judge to be harsh.
Jones said, "I don't care what happens to you from here on out. Because it's never going to be enough.
The victim's husband, Buddy Jones, also begged the judge to hand down a tough sentence.
He said, "She's not able to come down here today. This criminal took her ability to talk, eat, drive, go to the bathroom. She is fed through a tube in her stomach and will wear a diaper for the rest of her life."
He also said the family has been hit hard financially.
"This criminal has left Ramona and her family a horrendous financial bill," Jones said. "And he sentenced Ramona to a lifetime of misery. I would ask the court to be as good to him as he was to her."
Jones' daughter, Shelly, told the judge her mother now requires round the clock care.
She called Givens "a little punk." She, also, seethed with controlled anger in the courtroom as she glared at him.
"No matter what you get, you will still be better off than her," she said. "She might have been physically weaker than you, but she's still better than you and stronger than you.
"What did she do when you were doing this?" she asked. "Did she ask you to stop? Did she say she would pray for you? That's what she would have done."
She turned to the judge and asked her not to go easy on Givens since this was his first conviction.
"If this is his first crime he has on paper, what will he do next?" she asked.
The family passed pictures of Ramona Jones for Givens and his attorney, Tim Carrico, to see.
Givens, a ninth grade dropout who said he and Chapman robbed Jones for drug money, did apologize and read from a crumpled note. He cried as he did.
"I've caused Ms. Jones and her family great harm," he said.
He listed her injuries. He read the names of all those who wrote letters on her behalf and said he had read them.
"I wish it was me and not Ms. Jones who suffered permanent injuries," Givens said. "I had the power not to participate, and to stop it, but I did not. I chose not to call an ambulance to help.
"For the rest of my life I will think about the horrible things I did to Ms. Jones," he said.
After the hearing, Buddy Jones said he wished Givens could spend the rest of his life behind bars, but he was content with the sentence.
"They'll be eligible for parole, so that's not enough," Jones said of Givens and Chapman, who received an 82 to 90-year sentence. "But the judge did me and my family a decent job."
When she pronounced Givens' sentence, Bailey said, "I hope that this family can at least close this chapter of this horrific story."
Contact writer Cheryl Caswell at email@example.com or 304-348-4832.