Oklahoma City mom-to-be’s death brings guilty pleas

BY NOLAN CLAY Published: May 15, 2009
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An Oklahoma City teenager has admitted he fatally shot a pregnant woman during a struggle over a TV at her house.

John Maurice Jones pleaded guilty Wednesday to two counts of second-degree murder in the Dec. 4 deaths of Shatina Thomas, 19, and her unborn child.


Jones was then 15. He turned 16 on Feb. 2. "During the struggle, my gun went off,” he said.

Under a plea agreement, Jones will be in the custody of the Office of Juvenile Affairs until he turns 18. If he completes a treatment plan there, he will serve 10 years in prison. If he doesn’t complete the plan, he must serve 15 years.

An accomplice, Tony Ray Polly, 14, of Oklahoma City, pleaded guilty to being an accessory to murder after the fact. He was ordered into the custody of the Office of Juvenile Affairs. Polly said he assisted Jones in hiding the gun and clothing.

Jones and Polly had faced two first-degree murder counts before reaching plea agreements. Oklahoma County District Judge Ray Elliott, who has been troubled by a series of recent plea deals in murder cases, said he was reluctantly approving the deals.

Thomas was nine weeks pregnant and was very happy when she found out she was pregnant, her mother said.

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