SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Deon Jones has been sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole for the murder of a U.S. Army captain in Savannah in 2004.
On Sunday, a jury found Deon Jones guilty of the felony murder of U.S. Army Captain Scott Corwin during a robbery near Monterey Square. The jury did acquit Jones of a malice murder charge, meaning they don't think that Jones planned the murder.
Jones was already in jail on an unrelated issue when his warrant was served.
For the felony murder counts, the guilty verdict would normally mean the prosecution would try for a punishment of life in prison without the possibility of parole.
But Scott Corwin was murdered in 2004, a time before the state could pursue that kind of sentence. So Assistant District Attorney Isabel Pauley asked Judge James Bass for the maximum based on the guilty verdict delivered by the jury Saturday, which is life with the possibility of parole, but not until 10 years are served for the charge of intimidating a witness.
That sentence was handed down after we heard from Corwin's family and girlfriend, Mindy, who was with him the night he was murdered near Monterey Square.
A captain in the Army stationed at Fort Stewart, Scott Corwin was walking with his girlfriend through Monterey Square at night in May of 2004 when he was shot. Corwin was a member of the 92nd Engineer Battalion at Fort Stewart.
An Army captain stationed at Fort Stewart, Corwin had already served in Kosovo and was slated to deploy to Iraq when he was gunned down in a robbery attempt.
He was killed five years to the day from graduating from West Point.
The years following his murder, his family looked for answers and information, but the case went cold. But the arrest and indictment of Deon Jones brought new life to the mystery, and a guilty verdict and life sentence over the past week, some closure for Corwin's family.
"We just came in here and sat down, but I've never been so tired in my life. After a few of the days it was just grueling, and didn't sleep well, didn't eat, but that comes with the turf. The family is happy, and it's been a long time. It's been almost 14 years, and Scotty can rest in peace, that's the main thing," said Greg Corwin, Scott's father.
Corwin said he couldn't thank Assistant District Attorney Isabel Pauley and her team enough, acknowledging how hard they worked to piece together a nearly 14-year-old cold case.
"Scott was robbed of spending a lifetime with his love, Mindy, and of any children they may have had together. I, too, was robbed of those joys he deserved. I will never be able to watch Scott get married and dance that Mother/Son dance," said Sonia Corwin-Arndt, Scott's mother.
"For 14 years I have beat myself up for not being able to give his family the answers that they deserve. I have beat myself up for not choosing to leave earlier that night with our friends. I have beat myself up for not walking down a different street," said Mindy Davis, Scott's girlfriend.
"Now I can fully celebrate my brother's life for what it was and the unforgettable person he is. Your honor, I hope he receives the maximum punishment possible, because we have lived through hell these last 14 years, and he deserves nothing less," said Jamie Gronko, Scott's sister.
"I'm letting him know that I am not defeated and that I am strong. I carry Scott's courage, determination, his bravery. And he will live on in those who knew and loved him," said Allison Corwin, Scott's sister.
You can read the complete victim impact statements given Monday at Jones' sentencing hearing: