Man accused of Laurel murders pleads not guilty to all charges

Published: May. 9, 2023 at 10:01 AM CDT
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HARTINGTON, Neb. (KTIV) - The man accused of killing four people in Laurel, Nebraska has pleaded not guilty to his ten charges.

Online court documents show on May 8 Jason Jones pleaded not guilty to four counts of first-degree murder, two counts of first-degree arson and four counts of use of a firearm to commit a felony. Jones was originally scheduled to be arraigned on May 22 but submitted a written plea of not guilty instead.

Jones is accused of killing four people at two homes in Laurel before lighting them on fire. The victims were a family of three, Gene, Janet and Dana Twiford who lived in one house, and Michele Ebeling who lived in the other.

The morning after the shootings, authorities found Jones at his Laurel residence, which was right across the street from one of the victims. He was taken to a hospital in Lincoln where he had to be treated for severe burns that authorities allege he got when he set the two Laurel homes on fire. He was treated there for nearly three months before having his first appearance in court.

Each of Jones’s four murder charges has a maximum penalty of the death sentence and a minimum penalty of life in prison.

As of the morning of May 9, a date has not been set for Jones’ next court appearance.

Jones’s wife, Carrie Jones, has also been charged with first-degree murder for allegedly aiding her husband in the killings. She is currently scheduled to be arraigned in Cedar County District Court on May 22.

To read more of KTIV’s coverage of the Laurel murders, click here.