GREENEVILLE (WATE) – A suspect in the death of a 2-month-old and a 13-month-old appeared in court on Monday.
Erick Eugene Jones Jr. was arrested Saturday on two counts of aggravated child abuse and neglect which resulted in the deaths of Trinity Jones, 2 months, and Kynsleigh Easterly, 13 months. Officers say that Jones committed crimes which resulted in serious bodily injuries to the children.
Previous story: Greeneville police arrest man in deaths of two infants
The arrest warrants have very few details, but Jones is not the father of either child. Residents in the neighborhood where the little girls lived are grieving the loss and simply shocked.
“It’s hit them hard because nothing like this has ever happened in Greeneville,” said neighbor Jessica Hensley.
Jones will be in court again March 2, 2015 and is facing two counts of aggravated child abuse and neglect. The judge set his bond Monday at $350,000 for each little girl, a total of $700,000.
Greeneville police say the charges fall under Haley’s Law, which raises most child abuse charges to felonies, punishable by life in prison.
“I’d always see him carrying the kids inside or he’d be outside watching them. I never thought they would die,” said Hensley.
At the time of this suspected crime, Jones was on probation. We checked to see how many run-ins with the law Jones has had in Greene County.
WATE 6 On Your Side found two separate aggravated assault charges. The first was on May 20, 2014 against the mother of the two babies. The report stated Jones kicked in her apartment door then grabbed and slammed her.
It was a different woman on October 9. The investigators’ report says Jones punched her in the face knocked her unconscious.
Greeneville police are still working on the investigation cannot say much.
“They didn’t deserve it,” said Hensley.
Those who live close by to the little girls say they’re heartbroken.
“Nobody knows the true story but God and those people,” said Hensley.
At one point Jones lived in Arkansas. St. Francis County investigators said Jones was charged in 2011 with two separate breaking and entering charges. In September 2011, Jones was also in court for battery in the second degree. Court paperwork details he used a pair of brass knuckles to beat a person unconscious.