Victim's Daughter Emotional Before Sentence Passed

By David Hedges, Publisher
Times-Record-Roane County Reporter

Roger Eric Jones was sentenced to life in prison Monday, but not until the daughter of the man he murdered said what she came to say.

Betty Sloan told Jones, "I would sentence you to death the same way you did my father."

Sloan is the daughter of Oral "Sam" Jett, an 83-year-old whose body was found beside his car along a rural road near Amma. Police said he was slain during a robbery.

Before he passed sentence Monday afternoon, Roane Circuit Judge David Nibert gave the victim's family members a chance to speak. Sloan was the only one to take the opportunity, and she turned her attention squarely on Jones.

Sloan stood only a few feet in front of her father's killer, at one point holding up her hands as though she were going to choke him.

"I could take you and choke your tongue out," Sloan said. "I wish I could beat your f---in' brains out," she added, recalling a remark Jones allegedly said about her father, according to another witness at the trial.

Sloan became increasing emotional during her brief remarks, causing another family member to shout "Betty!" before Sloan returned to her seat in the courtroom.

Sloan stood and applauded when Nibert sentenced the 32-year-old Jones to life in prison without chance for parole. Since the jury returned their guilty verdict "without mercy" the outcome of the sentencing was determined even before Nibert made it official.

At the conclusion of a week-long trial in July, Jones was convicted in the January 2003 slaying of Jett, his former neighbor. The trial was moved to Mason County because of concerns that it would be difficult to find a jury in Roane County, where Jones is charged with the murder of another man about a week before Jett's death. Police said robbery was the motive in both cases. Each of the victims lived alone ...

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