April 24, 2017
Jack Harold Jones, Jr., was executed by the state of Arkansas on Monday, April 24, 2017. He was pronounced dead at 7:20 pm CDT, inside the Cummins Unit execution chamber near Varner, Arkansas. Jack was 52 years of age. He was executed for the murder of 34-year-old Mary Phillips on June 6, 1995, in Bald Knob, Arkansas. Jack spent the last 20 years of his life on Arkansas’ death row.
Jack had twice attempted to commit suicide and allegedly has been diagnosed with anti-social personality and bi-polar disorder. He had also been in a mental institution shortly before the murder of Mary Phillips. Jack had begun using illicit drugs at an early age. His father was an alcoholic and the his mother had a gambling problem.
On the afternoon of June 6, 1995, 11-year-old Lacy Phillips was dropped off at Automated Tax and Accounting Service in Bald, Knob, Arkansas, where her mother, Mary Phillips worked as a bookkeeper. Mary was planning to take her daughter to dentist appointment later that afternoon, before returning home. They never made it.
Before Lacy and her mother could leave, a black-haired male entered the business. The man, later identified as Jack Jones, had visited the business earlier that day and borrowed some books. When he returned, Jack claimed that he had been given the wrong books. He also apologized and said that was “going to have to rob them.”
Jones retrieved the cash out of the register before taking Lacy to the bathroom and tying her to a chair. Jones then left Lacy for a bit before returning. Lacy cried and asked Jones not to hurt her mother. Jones replied, “I’m not. I’m going to hurt you.”
Jones choked Lacy until she passed out. He then struck her at least eight times in the head with the barrel of a BB gun, causing multiple skull fractures with bone fragments penetrating into her brain.
Lacy woke up once and was surrounded by blood and vomit. She passed out again and woke to find police taking pictures of her, believing her to be dead. Mary had fought with Jones before he raped and killed her. Mary was found with the cord of a coffee pot wrapped around her neck and her wrists were bound by wire. She was killed by strangulation and blunt force trauma.
DNA testing in 2003, has also linked Jones to the murder of 32-year-old Lorraine Anne Barrett on June 1, 1991, in a Fort Lauderdale, Florida, motel. She had been killed by asphyxiation. A sketch of the suspect had also been made and matched Jones, along with the descriptions of his tattoos.
Jack Jones was scheduled to be executed on November 14, 2015. His execution was stayed, along with several others, by a judge with the Pulaski County Circuit Court. The execution was stayed due to legal challenges regarding the execution drugs.
Please pray for peace and healing for the family of Mary Phillips, including Lacy. Please pray for strength for the family of Jack.