Murder Victim's Friends Question Lesser Charge

Murder Victim's Friends Question Lesser Charge

Chris Jones is being held at the Shelby County Jail on a $1 million bond, charged in the murder of his estranged wife, Heather Palumbo-Jones. Jones is charged with second degree murder, which many people have questioned.
MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - Chris Jones is being held at the Shelby County Jail on a $1 million bond, charged in the murder of his estranged wife, Heather Palumbo-Jones. Her body was found Tuesday night after a week of searching.

Jones is charged with second degree murder, which many people have questioned.

Sources close to the investigation say her neck was broken and her body was burned; to many people that seems like it should be a capital punishment. The problem here is if prosecutors can prove premeditation.

Friends of Heather Palumbo-Jones were overwhelmed when they found out her estranged husband wouldn't be getting out of jail anytime soon.

"I was very worried, I've been very worried. I looked over my shoulder, I jumped when my daughter came behind me, I jumped when cars were in my rear view mirror. I'm so thankful I won't be that way anymore," said Heather's close friend Melissa Smith.

But what they don't understand is his charge of second degree murder. They even questioned Germantown's chief prosecutor, who said, "It means a knowing killing."

That means with intent, but not premeditated. According to the affidavit, Chris Jones admitted to killing his estranged wife. They were in a fight and sources say he strangled her. It was not planned, but in the moment he knew it would kill her. He then took her to the woods and burned her body.

The charges could still be changed as the investigation continues.

"We're not done yet," said Germantown Police Deputy Chief Rodney Bright. "We've got things we're working. I know it's frustrating; we can't say a whole lot, but we will not do anything that jeopardizes all the work that has gone into this at this point."

Jones was assigned a public defender Wednesday night and is scheduled to be back in court next week.

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