Lawyers for the man accused of murdering Lora filed a motion to challenge the basis of the death penalty.

One of the two attorneys representing Laurel murder suspect Jason Jones filed a motion Friday afternoon to dismiss the case. the statement of seriousness filed by the public prosecutor earlier this week.

Nebraska Assistant Attorney General Corey O’Brien filed Tuesday aggravating circumstances for Jones, 42, if convicted of four counts of murder. in the first case where he has been charged.

Some of the serious circumstances detailed by O’Brien include allegations that Jones committed multiple murders in a short period of time; he committed during the commission of other crimes; at least two murders were committed in an attempt to prevent the victims from identifying the killer; and the fire was set to try to hide the murderer.

Jones is accused of killing Gene Twiford, 86, and his wife Janet Twiford, 85; their daughter, Dana Twiford, 55; and Michele Ebeling, 53. Prosecutors allege that Jones started fires at the victims’ homes after killing them.

The 42-year-old was found at his home — across the street from Ebeling’s — the next day with severe burns. He was treated at a Lincoln hospital for about three months before being held at the Nebraska Department of Corrections’ Reception and Treatment Center in Lincoln while awaiting trial.

Attorney Todd Lancaster – who has represented many defendants in Nebraska accused of murder, some of whom faced the death penalty – accused Jones’ representative that the groups Nebraska’s death penalty is unconstitutional under the fifth, sixth, eighth and 14th amendments of the US Constitution.

In a 21-page filing, Lancaster listed reasons why he believes the whistleblower complaint filed against Jones should justify a presiding judge’s ruling that the laws of Nebraska’s death penalty – in whole or in part – is inconsistent.

Lancaster argued that the government’s decision to seek the death penalty was arbitrary and capricious because of four The decision is left to the individual district attorneys, and there is no legal basis for the decision.

The defense attorney further stated that allowing individual attorneys to make such decisions regarding the death penalty, it violates the equal protection of the fifth and 14th amendments and the cruel and unusual punishment of the eighth and 14th amendments.

In Nebraska, if a jury convicts a person of first-degree murder and prosecutors decide to pursue the death penalty, the jury will order third, during trials that are separate from jury trials, when there are serious circumstances that warrant the death penalty.

The panel of judges weighs a list of aggravating and mitigating factors surrounding the case in making a decision. All three judges must order that the state approve some of the terrorist acts that punish the accused by death.

Lancaster wrote in his motion that the death penalty statute prohibits the jury from finding and giving any weight related to an aggravating circumstance compared to any mitigating circumstances. Therefore, Lancaster alleged that the decision of the defendant’s sentence by the three-member jury by weighing the severity and mitigating circumstances violated the sixth, eighth and 14th amendments of the Foundation.

Among the allegations made by Lancaster is that Nebraska Revised Statute 29-2523 is not clear on its face and applied as interpreted by state courts.

It is stated in a part of the law: “At the time of the murder, the perpetrator also committed another murder.”

Neither the statute nor the Nebraska Supreme Court’s interpretation adequately defines what “at the time of the murder,” Lancaster said, could prevent the circumstances. distraction from use and continuity in a particular subject.

In addition, nationally and statewide, the number of executions and executions has decreased to the point where the death penalty is “fluid and unusual,” said Lancaster.

On Monday, he was scheduled to appear before the Cedar County District Court, but he has already signed a statement that says, he did not enter a plea on Monday as Lancaster and Jones’ other attorney, Matthew McDonald, challenged the state’s death penalty. penalty.

The hearing of the opposition’s motion to quash is set for Monday, February 27.

Jones’ wife, 43-year-old Carrie Jones, was arrested in December and charged with first-degree murder in the death of Gene Twiford, as well as tampering with evidence and being an accessory to concealing his identity. two while the authorities are looking for him. .

He remains in custody at the Cedar County Jail in Hartington and is scheduled to be arraigned Monday. Carrie Jones is represented by attorney Doug Stratton of Norfolk.

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