Flint Teen Sentenced to 40-60 Years in Prison for Murder of 73-Year-Old Woman
A Flint teen was sentenced to 40-60 years in prison on Friday for the 2010 robbery and fatal shooting of a 73-year-old Flint woman.
Eighteen-year-old Mark Anthony Jones was convicted in 2013 of the shooting and killing of Merlyne Wray during a robbery at her home on Leland Street on November 16, 2010 when Jones was just 14-years-old. At the time of charges brought were brought against Jones, he faced life in prison without the possibility of parole. However, a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in 2012 struck down mandatory life without parole sentences for juveniles. As a result of the Supreme Court ruling, a sentencing hearing was held for Jones in March and based upon the evidence presented at the hearing, the court made its sentencing ruling on Friday.
Jones is sentenced to a minimum 40 years with a maximum of 60 years in prison for Wray's murder and various other terms of years for armed robbery, carjacking, illegal entry and carrying a concealed weapon. Each of those sentences will run concurrent with one another.
In a news release, Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton said "Mark Jones walked into the home of Merlyne Wray, killed her in cold blood with a single gunshot to her back, stole her wallet, car and other items and left her body in a reclining chair where she was found by her son-in-law the next day. Our position is that, taken in its entirity, with the facts of this case, and Mark Jones' background a life sentence without parole would have been appropriate in the interests of justice and public safety."
Less than a month prior to Wray's murder, Jones had plead no contest to the breaking into the apartment of an 80-year-old Burton man. In addition to that case, Jones had been arrested six other times on crimes ranging from larceny to criminal trespass.