Update (January 4, 2017) — Stephen Jones pleaded guilty to Assisting a Criminal last month, and all other charges were dropped. He was sentenced to 6 years in the DOC.
INDIANAPOLIS (July 15, 2015) – Police released new information in the murder of a 34-year-old woman found in the basement of an east side home.
According to a probable cause affidavit, a woman named Candace called 911 around 8:25 a.m. Monday to report a female not breathing and unresponsive in the basement.
When officers arrived in the 2500 block of East 18th Street, they saw a black male, later identified as Stephen Jones, 32, walk out of the residence.
Jones told the officers everything was fine and there was no one else inside the house.
Several officers then went into the basement where they found a dead woman in a blue plastic tub. The woman’s head, arm, and leg were covered in plastic trash bags. Upon further investigation, officers discovered the woman was shot in the chest and the face and she had several other injuries to her head.
Additionally, her ankle had a large laceration and it appeared to be broken.
Candace told police she owned the house. She said she got into a fight with Jones on Sunday over missing money. The woman said she left the house at 7 p.m., and when she left her friend Martha Cronkhite, 34, was at the house with Jones.
Candace said she stayed the night at a friend’s home, and when she returned Monday morning she found Jones sitting on the couch.
She asked Jones if Cronkhite was still in the house, and Jones said she left a long time ago.
Candace went into the restroom, and she said the floor was flooded due to the running toilet. So she went to the basement to turn the water off, but as she started walking down the stairs she saw blood.
Candace says she turned on the light, and that’s when she saw Cronkhite’s body in a tote on the floor.
Candace ran upstairs and asked Jones what he did.
Jones told Candace she better go in the bedroom and look for his money.
Candace said she went into the bedroom, pushed the screen out of the window, and ran away from the house as fast as she could. That’s when she called 911.
When police questioned Jones, he told officers Candace assaulted Cronkhite in the basement. Jones said he asked Cronkhite if she was ok, and she told him she was fine. Jones said he then passed out on the couch and didn’t wake up until Candace returned home Monday morning. Jones told police he never went to the basement and he never touched Martha.
Police arrested Jones on a preliminary charge of murder Wednesday morning.