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Teen’s trial status to be decided in manslaughter case

Bangor Daily News | BDN
Bangor Daily News | BDN
Nicklas Jones (BANGOR DAILY NEWS PHOTO BY KEVIN BENNETT) CAPTION Nicklas Jones enters Caribou District Court on Thursday, may 14, 2009.
By Jen Lynds, BDN Staff

LIMESTONE, Maine — A hearing to determine whether a Limestone teenager will be tried as a juvenile or an adult in connection with the death last April of his 3-month-old daughter will be held April 30, Assistant Attorney General Andrew Benson said Monday.

Nicklas Jones, now 18, was 17 years old when he was charged with manslaughter in connection with the death of his daughter Joselyn Jones.

The bind-over hearing will determine how Jones will be tried. The hearing originally was scheduled to take place last August, but it has been postponed several times as attorneys have conducted forensic evaluations and dealt with other matters.

Joselyn Jones died April 27, 2009, at Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor from injuries she reportedly suffered four days earlier. Maine State Police investigators said the baby died from blunt force trauma to the head.

After the baby was injured, she initially was taken to Cary Medical Center in Caribou and then was transferred to Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor where she died.

Police allege that her father threw the baby into her crib on April 23 to stop her from crying. Jones was arrested on May 1, 2009.

Jones pleaded not guilty to a charge of manslaughter in Caribou District Court last May. He has been held at the Mountain View Correctional Facility in Charleston ever since.

Benson had stated publicly his desire for Jones to be tried as an adult because he is “chronologically almost an adult” and there are inadequate options in the juvenile system to treat Jones.

The state has completed a forensic diagnostic evaluation of Jones, as has the teenager’s attorney, Anthony Trask of Presque Isle.

Trask could not be reached for comment Monday.

If Jones is convicted of manslaughter as an adult, he faces up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $50,000.

If convicted as a juvenile, Jones could be sentenced to remain at the Charleston correctional facility until his 21st birthday.

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