Murder Comes Knocking
In an exclusive interview with 48 Hours, Phil Jones continued to insist that Malia was molested.
"I know for a fact, because she told me," Phil claims.
He also claimed he was very sensitive to what Malia said, because he too had been a victim of molestation as a child.
"Did you or your daughter ever ask your son-in-law if he had done this? Or if there could be any explanation for it?" Maher asks.
"No, I did not. I didn't ask him," Phil replies.
Philip Jones decision to commit murder appeared to be based solely on the word of a three-year old child. A child, prosecutors were convinced, who was coached into making the claim.
"Maybe Malia might have said something. But three-year olds say things that aren't necessarily true and use that as an excuse to go out and murder somebody is outrageous," says Sorenson.
Asked if there wasn't another choice than to shoot Jarrod, Phil says, "I sure couldn't think of one. I could not…I just couldn't come up with anything else."
Phil now feels he must protect his daughter Kelee.
The fact that he has terminal cancer, Phil says, had nothing to do with his decision to shoot Jarrod, because he says he didn't know he was sick at the time.
But knowledge of his fatal illness probably made his plea deal to be locked away for what life he has left a little easier to accept.
"I just confessed and plead guilty, in exchange for my daughter being taken out of the equation," Phil tells Maher. "She was threatened with life imprisonment. And as everyone knows, there are a lot of innocent people in prison."
Phil insisted Kelee had no part in the murder plot.
As part of the deal, Kelee was allowed to plead guilty to three lesser charges, but each was still a serious a crime-accessory to murder and two counts of perjury.
Outside of court, Kelee remained quite defiant. "By entering the plea, I was in essence lying in the courtroom," she said. "The charges I plead guilty to is that I helped cover-up after the fact."
Kelee insisted she didn't help with a cover up. Asked why she agreed to the plea, she says, "Because in my opinion our justice system is flawed just enough that I couldn't trust a jury. I would be gambling my entire life and Lia's."
Kelee was sentenced to four years in prison, but with good behavior she could be out after serving only about a year-and-a-half.
It was an outrage to Jarrod's father Richard, who again addressed the court. "As for my son's ex-wife, whom I believe is personally responsible for the death of my son and for tormenting him throughout the precious time he had with his daughter-she should receive the maximum sentence permitted by law."
So with Kelee avoiding a long prison sentence, and her father's deal done, it left Kelee's mother Mindy as the last-and perhaps the biggest target of them all.
Sorenson still believed Mindy was the mastermind behind all this. But mastermind or not, Mindy refused a plea deal for herself. She would take her chances in court. But there was a problem: it seemed Mindy couldn't remember anything-six months after her arrest, Mindy woke up one morning in jail claiming she had lost her memory.
"Yeah, she claimed that she had amnesia and that she had lost her memory and didn't know who anybody was," says Sorenson. "Very convenient."
But it was not convenient for Mindy's attorney, Robert Landheer. He says she is completely incapable of assisting in her own defense, like trying to explain why her DNA was on the plant card holder found at the murder scene.
"She asserts to this day that she doesn't remember what happened," Landheer explains.
Compounding matters for the defense, the witness with the greatest potential to harm Mindy was her own husband, Phil, who was called to testify by the prosecution.
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