Grand jury indicts Germantown husband in death of estranged wife - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Grand jury indicts Germantown husband in death of estranged wife

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DOWNTOWN MEMPHIS, Tenn. (FOX13) -

A Shelby County grand jury has indicted Christopher Jones of Germantown on first-degree murder charges and abuse of a corpse in the April death of his estranged wife and teacher Heather Palumbo-Jones.

Shelby County District Attorney General Amy Weirich offered a second degree murder charge and a 25-year, no parole prison sentence for the 41-year-old in November, but Jones turned down the negotiated settlement. He said he is not guilty and wanted to take his chances with a jury trial.

MORE: Chris Jones turns down plea deal, asks for trial
MORE: Judge denies Jones' motion for speedy trail
MORE: Autopsy shows Palumbo-Jones died of asphyxia

Jones will be arraigned Thursday before Shelby County Criminal Court Judge Bobby Carter on the new charges that carry life in prison, life without parole, or death.
 
He is being held on $1 million bond in the Shelby County jail.

The 33-year-old Palumbo-Jones was reported missing on April 16 when she did not show up for work at the Frayser Achievement School where she taught kindergarten.

MORE: Search for Heather-Palumbo Jones archive

 Her husband gave Germantown police a videotaped statement in which he admitted killing his wife when an argument developed into a physical altercation at her home in the 7000 block of Poplar.

Based on information from Christopher Jones, police found the badly burned body of Ms. Palumbo-Jones on April 23 in a wooded area off of U.S. 64 between the Shelby-Fayette County line and Collierville-Arlington Road.

The couple had two children and was involved in divorce proceedings.

A Shelby County Medical Examiner's autopsy released in July showed Ms. Palumbo-Jones died of asphyxia.

According to the report, Ms. Palumbo-Jones' death was a homicide, and her body was burned so badly it had to be identified from dental records.

Christopher Jones was found fully competent to stand trial in June following the results of a court-ordered mental evaluation. He entered an innocent plea and waived his right to a preliminary hearing.

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