A Texas jury took three minutes Wednesday to convict an Austin man of fatally stabbing his stepmother after she reportedly offended him by breaking into a celebratory dance following a Dallas Cowboys victory.
The Austin-American Statesman reported the evidence against Pontrey Jones was so overwhelming his defense team declined to offer reasons why jurors should vote to acquit during closing arguments. They instead focused on his mental issues in hopes of being granted leniency.
Jones reportedly confessed to stabbing Maggie Ruiz in December 2016, saying he believed she was a demon and that her dance had offended him.
Prosecutors said Jones and Ruiz were home watching the Cowboys play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Dec. 18, 2016 when she jumped up and danced after her home team’s 26-20 win.
Pontrey Jones, 23, was convicted Wednesday of fatally stabbing his stepmother after she gloated about a Dallas Cowboys victory.
(Austin Police Department)
An angered Jones, 23, reached behind a couch for a knife he hid there that morning and stabbed Ruiz several times, prosecutors said. His father, Pontrey Simon, was sleeping on a couch and was awakened by the attack.
Simon intervened during the attack and Jones fled. He was arrested a few minutes later after he was found lying naked in a grassy area, KYEY-TV reported.
Jones told police he noticed that Ruiz was “disrespecting his father and gloating about how the Cowboys won the game.” He expressed no remorse in an interview with detectives.
“I was hoping so,” he said when informed Ruiz had died. He had come to live with the couple a week prior after being homeless and living under a bridge.
Police said Jones told investigators he initially planned to break his little sister’s neck, but changed his mind and decided to go after Ruiz.
He was initially declared unfit to stand trial by a psychologist, which delayed proceedings for a year. He was deemed competent after a stay in a mental health facility.
The psychologist, Dr. Marisa Mauro, testified Jones likely suffers from schizophrenia and other mental disorders. He faces up to 99 years in prison.