The Rev. Roy Jones, former employee of the DeSoto Council on Aging, today pleaded guilty to four charges of misdemeanor theft.
Opening arguments were to begin in Jones' trial this morning, after a six-person jury was seated Monday. But defense attorney Alex Washington and Louisiana Assistant District Attorney Cliff Crider worked out a plea agreement, in which Jones will not have a felony on his record, nor do any jail time.
September, Jones' wife, Martha Jones, former COA director, pleaded guilty to
crimes that involved diverting nearly $50,000 of agency's funds to Rev. Jones,
as well as Mrs. Jones' son and daughter-in-law, Byron and Shelly Laneaux.
DeSoto District Judge Robert Burgess sentenced Jones to six months in jail, all suspended, for each count, and four years supervised probation. In addition, Jones was fined $2,000, ordered to pay a monthly $50 probation fee for the duration of his probation, and to perform 120 days of community service.
Jones also must make restitution of $22,516 to the COA, the amount Jones, a former COA van driver, was overpaid in an arrangement with his wife.
Martha Jones will share the debt - in addition to her own - and if either one fails to make payments the debt falls to the other spouse. Failure to complete restitution during the probationary period could mean jail time.