OLIVE BRANCH, MS— She was a happy, bubbly, and loving mother of two. That's how friends and family still remember China Jones. She is the Olive Branch woman murdered inside her home more than a year ago. Now, the man charged with killing her, could be set free on Tuesday August 7, 2012. China’s family is trying to focus on her memory and not the release of her former boyfriend.
"It's been horrible. It's been a horrible time for me,” said China’s mother Sandra Jones Phillips.
China Jones was killed on January 29, 2011. The Desoto County Coroner said the 33 year old mother was strangled to death inside her home. When police officers arrived, they saw her boyfriend, Jelani Greene, wandering around the neighborhood completely naked. They charged him with murder but doctors diagnosed Greene as bipolar. The Desoto County DA says the McNaughton Rule applies when the crime was committed—Greene could not "appreciate the nature and quality of his acts." In other words, he's not guilty by reason of insanity.
"I'm hurt and I want to fight to change the laws because he was found competent to stand trial but insane during the time of the murder,” said Phillips as she holds back her tears.
Greene spent a little more than a year in jail. He's scheduled to walk free on Tuesday.
"He thinks he's gotten off but in God's eyes he hasn't gotten off,” stated Phillips.
The family says the Jones and Greene dated a few years and never had any problems. People who knew China say she had a contagious smile. You can see it in her baby pictures. On a website called "In Loving Memory of China ‘Cee Jay’ Jones" there are music and loving messages to remember a life cut too short. She was a dealer at Horseshoe Casino in Tunica and played basketball in high school.
"When I think of her that's my best friend in the whole world,” said China’s sister Crystal Jones.
The family says they will never stop fighting until justice is done for China Jones. Family and friends will hold a candle light vigil for Jones at Tom Lee Park in downtown Memphis on Monday at 7pm. Greene is scheduled to be in a Desoto County Courtroom Tuesday at 9:30am and then released.