Man who brutally murdered 26-year-old woman and burned her body in 1998 sentenced to 115 years

A judge in Marion County sentenced 61-year-old Johnny Jones on April 26 in the murder of 26-year-old Kenya Edwards whose body had been discovered partially burned in 1998


                            Man who brutally murdered 26-year-old woman and burned her body in 1998 sentenced to 115 years

A man has now been sentenced to 115 years behind bars for the 1998 rape and murder of a woman in Indianapolis whose body had been discovered partially burned.

A judge in Marion County sentenced 61-year-old Johnny Jones on April 26 in the murder of 26-year-old Kenya Edwards. Her gruesome murder was a cold case until 2015 when DNA evidence that was collected from the body matched with Jones.

CBS4 Indy reported that a jury had convicted Jones earlier this month for sexual assault and murder. The authorities found Edwards' partially burned body inside a residence in Indianapolis' east side in November 1998. 

Johnny Jones (Source: Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department)

Edwards had her wrists and legs bound using electrical cords and officers even found signs of struggle inside the home along with a rear broken window. The prosecutors said that an autopsy later determined that she had died from thermal burns and smoke inhalation.

According to Fox 59, the evidence that was collected during Edwards' autopsy in 2009 was submitted for DNA testing. Six years after this was done, the authorities found a match. Prosecutors on the case said that detectives had been notified after the DNA evidence was submitted to a national database and the match identified Jones as a suspect.

The detectives then combed through previous crimes that were committed by the man and revealed similarities between those separate incidents and the 1998 murder.

IMPD Chief Rick Hite said in a statement: "The resiliency and dedication displayed by the investigators involved in this case lets our community know we will leave no stone unturned in any homicide investigation and it will only be considered closed when the person, or persons, involved have been identified, arrested and found guilty in a court of law."

According to Fox59, Jones had already been serving time at the Indiana Department of Correction for a 2014 conviction of unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon when he was charged with the new rape and murder.