Convicted Murderer Sentenced to Death

Published: Jan. 24, 2004 at 4:16 AM CST|Updated: Feb. 10, 2004 at 10:11 AM CST
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By Maggie Wade

The scales of justice have weighed against him, and now the man convicted of killing a Prentiss police officer has been sentenced to death. Cory Maye was arrested and charged with capitol murder in December 2001 in Jefferson Davis County. He maintained he shot and killed 29-year-old Ron Jones in self defense, but Friday a jury found him guilty and, after deliberating for almost five hours, gave him the death penalty.

The trial for 23-year-old Cory Maye was moved from Jefferson Davis County to Columbia, Mississippi in Marion County. Maye was charged with capital murder the day after Christmas two years ago. Maye said he shot Prentiss police officer, 29-year-old Ron Jones in self defense when he burst into this home to serve a search warrant for drug possession. Maye's girlfriend and family members said he had never been in trouble with the law and the drug charges were ridiculous. They maintained he was only defending himself.

"He was defending himself and my child," said Maye's girlfriend, Chenteal Longino.

But those claims were not enough to convince District Attorney Buddy McDaniel or the jury.

"Those of us who work around law enforcement officers and their families see the danger that they face every day and the loss those families and the communities feel when they're taken out and when they're murdered and their lives are brought to a close in the performance of duty," said McDaniel.

Maye was found guilty Friday morning at the Marion County courthouse. The jury began deliberating at one o'clock and shortly after six Friday evening the sentence was decided. Maye will get the death penalty.

"Every time they get in the car they don't know whether they're going to come back alive or not, don't know whether they'll be alive at the end of their shift or not. You can't pay them enough, you can't say enough about them. Having been with, having worked closely with them for thirty years, its not something that I can deal with lightly," McDaniel said.

Ron Jones was the son of Prentiss Police Chief Ronald Jones. Throughout court appearances and this trial Maye was escorted by state troopers. There's no word Friday night from Maye's attorney on whether the conviction and sentence will be appealed. Cory Maye's family and his attorney also accused officers of beating him while he was in custody after his arrest. Officers and prosecutors said those claims were completely false.