Tulsa man handed 35-year term for meth-linked death
BY BILL BRAUN World Staff Writer
Saturday, March 03, 2012
3/03/12 at 5:20 AM
Read the Tulsa World’s continuing coverage of the meth epidemic.
A Tulsa man was sentenced Friday to 35 years in prison on a murder charge linked to a meth-lab fire.
Billy James Jones, 29, waived his right to a trial and pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the death of Shannon Louise Lee, 32.
Lee died from injuries she suffered in a July 2010 fire that investigators attributed to the manufacturing of methamphetamine.
The Tulsa County District Attorney's Office agreed to reduce the charge from first-degree murder in accordance with a plea agreement.
Jones also pleaded guilty to a count of first-degree arson for the fire at a residence in the 2300 block of South 59th West Avenue.
District Judge William Kellough sentenced him to 35 years in prison. He must serve 85 percent of that term - nearly 30 years - before being eligible for parole or release, but he receives credit for time already spent in custody.
A count of manufacturing a controlled dangerous substance was dismissed Friday.
An investigator for the Tulsa County Sheriff's Office reported that Jones and Lee, after being burned, managed to drive to the 4100 block of South 57th West Avenue. They were then taken from there to a Tulsa hospital.
A witness indicated that Jones and Lee had been manufacturing methamphetamine by the "shake and bake" method, according to a sheriff's report.
Lee was hospitalized with critical burns for more than two weeks and died Aug. 13, 2010. A medical examiner listed her cause of death as complications of thermal/chemical burn injuries, according to an investigator's affidavit.
Jones recovered and was released from the hospital. He was arrested Dec. 29, 2010, in North Carolina and has been in the Tulsa Jail since Feb. 28, 2011, reports show.
Jones and Lee, who were dating, were moving into the home on the day of the fire, an investigator said in 2010.
Prosecutors asserted in court documents that Jones has previous felony convictions for drug and assault offenses.
Bill Braun 918-581-8455
Billy James Jones: The 29-year-old waived his right to a trial and pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the death of Shannon Louise Lee, 32. She died from injuries she suffered in a July 2010 fire that investigators attributed to the manufacturing of meth.