October 3, 2012

State attorney general won't prosecute Skowhegan bodybuilder killing

By Doug Harlow dharlow@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

SKOWHEGAN -- The state attorney general's office will not bring charges in the October 2011 shooting death of a former Skowhegan bodybuilder.

click image to enlarge

STUDENT DAYS: Aaron L. Jones' yearbook photo from Skowhegan Area High School. He graduated in 1991.

Contributed photo

The death of Aaron L. Jones, 38, could effectively be argued to have been self-defense if brought to court, Deputy Attorney General William Stokes said Tuesday.

Jones was found dead Oct. 20 at a home he shared with Joseph and Sarah Turner in the York County town of Lebanon.

The state medical examiner's office later determined Jones died of multiple gunshot wounds. Police said there were only three people in the house at the time of the shooting -- Jones and the Turner couple, who lived in the house.

Police have not disclosed details of the investigation, saying only that Jones had been killed and that the Turners were the only other people involved in the shooting.

If self defense on the part of the Turners was raised in court, Stokes said, the state would have trouble challenging the claim.

"When the issue of self defense or defense of premises or defense of others is generated, the state has the burden of disproving that defense beyond a reasonable doubt," Stokes said. "In this case, clearly that defense would have been generated. We would have to disprove (the) claim of self defense."

Investigators would not say what sort of firearm was used or if the Turners were injured. State police detectives said the shooting occurred about 11:30 p.m. at 213 Oak Hill Road in Lebanon.

Efforts to reach the Turners over the past year have been unsuccessful. Jones' mother, Colleen Jones of Skowhegan, will not comment on the case.

Jones, a 1991 Skowhegan Area High School graduate, was a 260-pound body builder and weightlifter who was 5-feet, 8-inches tall. He trained for a time at Skowhegan Sports & Fitness.

Jones pleaded guilty and paid a $1,000 fine in 2001 for assaulting a police officer in Winslow that year. Jones reportedly stripped off his clothing, chanted gibberish, took his mother hostage for a short time, and fought with five police officers when they tried to subdue him, according to a Morning Sentinel article at the time.

Officers used two sets of handcuffs linked together to hold his hands behind his back. Police said at the time he was a "rugged dude."

In Jones' obituary, published in the Morning Sentinel Oct. 26, family members said he was at peace and "no longer suffering from the mental illness that ultimately took his life despite our untiring efforts."

He enjoyed playing basketball, baseball and soccer until the age of 12, when he began body building, according to his obituary. In 1990, he won his first competition, Mr. Teenage Vacationland, and then traveled around the United States competing.

Following several years in Las Vegas, he moved to Virginia, where he developed Cottage Lake Wildlife Refuge and Animal Sanctuary.

Doug Harlow -- 612-2367


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