By Jason A. Smith
A Stockbridge man accused of killing his wife told a jury, Tuesday, that the state has "no proof" he committed the crime. He has told police he was in Florida at the time of her death.
Changa Ola Jones, 38, is acting as his own attorney in Henry County Superior Court. Jones is charged with murder, felony murder and aggravated assault, in the 2005 death of his wife, Natasha Monique Brown Jones.
Henry County Police reportedly found Natasha Jones strangled to death in her bedroom.
In his trial in 2008, jurors voted 9-3 in favor of acquittal for Jones, resulting in a mistrial. In May of 2009, a jury voted 10-2 to convict Jones, resulting in another mistrial.
Henry County Assistant District Attorney Sandi Rivers told the newest jury she plans to introduce testimony from the Jones' son, who was 8 years old at the time of his mother's death.
"I expect the evidence to be that ... around 6 p.m., the day before Mrs. Jones died, [the son] will tell you that he received a telephone call from his father," said Rivers. "His father said, 'I'm coming to get you, you're going with me, and you don't have a choice.'"
Rivers added that the son woke up during the night to the sound of the garage door opening at the family's home on Carlsbad Cove in Stockbridge.
"He will tell you that two people had garage-door openers, his mom and dad," Rivers said.
Rivers said the boy heard a door slam, and his parents arguing, before going back to sleep. When the child woke up the next morning, she added, he ran to the master bedroom of the home and found the door locked.
The son reportedly called Natasha Jones' sister, Nicole Watson, who lived nearby and came to the house. Watson then called police, who found Natasha Jones' body in the bedroom.
The aggravated-assault charge against Changa Jones stems from an altercation which allegedly occurred approximately two months before Natasha Jones' death. Rivers said Changa Jones was wanted for allegedly throwing a cement block through the windshield of his wife's vehicle.
According to the prosecutor, Changa Jones talked to his wife's sister, Rolonda Brown, in an attempt to get Natasha Jones to drop the assault warrant.
"He told her, 'If you don't get her to take back that warrant, both of our families are going to be sad,'" Rivers said.
Rivers also announced her intention to allow the jury to hear testimony from an inmate at the Henry County Jail who, she said, told authorities Changa Jones approached him and tried to get him to locate an alibi witness in exchange for money.
"Mr. Jones came to him and asked him if his mama had any friends, that he needed someone to say that he was in Atlantic Beach at the time [of Natasha Jones' death]," said Rivers.
Changa Jones offered brief opening arguments on his own behalf in the trial. He said the state has "no proof" of his alleged involvement in his wife's death, adding police did a "sloppy job" of investigating the case.
"The evidence is going to show a much different picture, than what the prosecutor has presented," Changa Jones said.
He claimed that his wife was having an affair with another man, prior to her death, and that her family denied knowing the man until after Natasha Jones was killed.
"He was the last person known to see my wife, Natasha Jones, alive," Changa Jones said.
He added that his son's testimony was tainted, because the boy had been staying with Natasha Jones' sisters and mother in the years since his mother's death.
The state presented testimony from Dr. Carol Terry, who worked in the DeKalb County Medical Examiner's Office at the time of Natasha Jones' death. Terry, now chief medical examiner in Gwinnett County, said Natasha Jones suffered "blunt trauma" to her bladder and uterus near the time of her death, as well as numerous bruises on her body.
Hemorrhaging over her left eye, Terry said, was evidence of strangulation as the cause of death.
Rivers, the prosecutor, is expected to continue calling state witnesses in the case.