"He's getting off too easy," said Darlene Shaw of Hannibal. "He should have to suffer and pay for it."
On Friday morning, a state appellate court reduced Jones's conviction to second degree manslaughter from second degree murder. That can ultimately reduce his prison sentence from 25 years to life down to a maximum of 15 years in a state prison.
The Oswego County District Attorney says it will now appeal the decision, asking the New York Court of Appeals to reinstate his second degree murder charges.
"He deserves the original 25 years to life sentence originally imposed by Judge Hafner," said Oswego County District Attorney Gregory Oakes. "Quite frankly, the fact that he will one day be released from state prison sickens me. He deserves to spend every remaining day in jail."
Jones's defense attorney hopes for something different. "Our ultimate goal is to have the charges dismissed," said John Cirando.
The key factor being disputed is whether Jones acted with "depraved indifference," as the jury in his case originally concluded. This is based on the severity and duration of cruelty and brutality, as well as the victim's vulnerability and the perpetrator's indifference toward the victim's safety or life.
The District Attorney's Office wants to stall the appellate court's order and reinstate Jones's original second degree murder conviction. This, however, is a legal battle with no definitive end in sight.