SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The ex-wife of a man suspected ofsaid she has always feared that she would be a target of her "maniac" ex-husband following their contentious divorce and custody battle. Authorities say Dwight Lamon Jones, 56, remained bitter about his 2009 divorce from Connie Jones years after they split and began confronting people linked to the breakup and shooting them. He is last week before ending his own life as police closed in on him at a Scottsdale extended-stay hotel.
Connie Jones, her current husband Rick Anglin and her divorce attorney, Elizabeth Feldman, spoke at a news conference at the Coconino County Sheriff's Office today. Anglin, a former officer who met Connie Jones when he was hired by Feldman to conduct surveillance and security, was the one who first linked the killings to Dwight Jones and contacted police.
Connie Jones said she has been on "high alert" for the past nine years because she believed her ex-husband would kill her or her son, who is now 21.
"This is a tragedy that has profoundly affected me and my son, firstly because we know that we were the primary target for Dwight Jones, and we are very grateful to be alive today," she said. "I feel great sorrow for the families and the victims of the six innocent people killed at the hands of a maniac."
She said Dwight Jones would tell her that he owned her and that he would kill her if she ever left him, and that he could wait years for her to lower her defenses before seeking his revenge.
She said she felt Dwight Jones' death is the best thing to come out of the tragedy.
She described her ex-husband as her "personal terrorist." She and Anglin described taking care to vary their routines, using three safe houses and rental cars because they feared Jones would target her or the boy.
Connie Jones said she had four orders or protection taken out against her ex-husband in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 because they felt he was a continued threat.
"I still knew this was a man who was not going to stop until he got me," Connie Jones said.
Investigators haven't pinpointed what set off the shooting spree but say at least three of the victims were tied to the divorce. Paralegals Veleria Sharp, 48, and Laura Anderson, 49, worked for the same firm as Feldman. Forensic psychiatrist Steven Pitt, 59, testified in the divorce case that Dwight Jones had anxiety and mood disorders and was at risk of using violence against his wife, child and himself.
Marriage counselor Marshall Levine, 72, apparently was targeted in a case of mistaken identity, authorities said.
Analysis of shell casings found outside Pitt's office, the law firm and Levine's office confirmed the victims were killed with the same gun, police said.
Dwight Jones also has been linked to the killings of a Fountain Hills couple, Mary Simmons, 70, and Byron Thomas, 72, who were found dead inside their home. Police said the couple occasionally met up with Jones to play tennis at local parks.
Connie Jones filed for divorce in May 2009 after more than 20 years of marriage and after her then-husband was arrested on a domestic violence charge at their home in Scottsdale. She was awarded sole custody of their son, but Dwight Jones was granted supervised visitation with the boy.
Dwight Jones walked away with a Mercedes, a $100,000 lump-sum payment and $6,000 a month for five years in alimony provided by his ex-wife, a radiologist, according to court records.
Authorities said they did not know why Dwight Jones waited so long to seek vengeance. But criminal justice experts say it's not unusual for killers who feel wronged by catastrophic life events to wait years to settle old scores.
Last month, Dwight Jones posted several videos on YouTube griping about his ex-wife and the court system that sided with her in the divorce, and made a disparaging remark about Pitt.