Defending Your Life

In Third Trial For Wife's Murder, Man Acts As Own Lawyer


A Family History

For almost 17 years, Kim Jones and her younger sister, Beth, have been on a mission trying to prove their father is innocent of slaying their mother.

"I loved my mother very much. And if I had any doubt whatsoever that my dad might have done it, I wouldn't be standing by him like this," says Kim.

"There's no way that he did this," adds Beth.

Both sisters say they have never questioned their father's innocence.

In 2005, Jones and his daughters faced round three and this time, he would be represented by the man he says knows this case better than anyone: himself.

Jones admits he didn't have any legal training, but says he thought he could exonerate himself. "If they can get a feel for me as a human being, then they'll be convinced that I am not capable of murdering anyone," he said.

And he would be going toe-to-toe with the man who prosecuted him twice before, Ron Doersch.

To try to ensure a fair verdict, this jury wouldn't hear about Jones' earlier trials or convictions.

It was Lee Jones' beauty that first caught his attention back in 1970, when Jerry was stationed in Vietnam, serving in the Air Force.

Says Jerry, "I encountered the most gorgeous creature I'd ever laid eyes on in my life."

He says it was "love at first sight."

They married in Vietnam, and their first child, Kim, was born there. Within months, Jerry's tour ended and Lee left her family behind and moved to the U.S. to start a new life. The couple had two more children, Beth and Thomas.

Jerry retired after 20 years in the Air Force and the family moved to Bothell, Washington, just outside Seattle.

Jones' daughters say their parents were in the prime of their marriage. "They were always hugging each other. They were always kissing. And they were very close and very happy," says Kim.

Jerry became a successful pharmaceutical salesman, while Lee was a busy housewife, raising three children.