When police found the body of Jessica Nicole Koon, 24, on July 18, 2005 in the stairway of the apartment building she resided in, that was only part of the story.
Jessica Koon was residing in Vancouver when she met Christoper J. Jones, 24. With Jessica still in high school, the two began an off and on relationship that lasted for 7 years.
Koon’s parents were concerned. The girl who loved to sing and dance, kept coming up with injuries. Yet she denied any abuse, blaming the injuries on car accidents and of getting “jumped on”. Jessica is described as a sweet kind girl, and she had loving parents. Her family tried to convince her to leave Jones for good, but she refused. And the couple had a child together. In April of 2002, Jones was arrested for assaulting her. In October of 2003, he was arrested for violating a restraining order. Other violations of the restraining order followed.
Eventually the two ended up living in the apartment with Jones’s aunt and the couple’s child. Her life became a life of domestic violence, drugs, and prostitution. From June 2004 through Jan. 2005 Koons was arrested 7 times for prostitution. While police stop short of calling Jones her pimp, they have said that Jones used to beat her if she didn’t bring home enough money.
During the murder investigation information was found in Jessica’s medical records, they show that she had had two broken jaws in the months preceding her murder that required her jaws to be wired shut.
At some point Koons began cooperating with police in a drug investigation. And Jones has told police that two men beat Koons up for that reason. He also told police that Koons had asked him to kill her, as she didn’t want to be die at the hands of another man, she wanted to die at the hands of someone close to her.
Jones admitted to beating her with a leather belt with a large buckle. And he admitted kicking her in the head. Reportedly when she was found there wasn’t much of her that wasn’t bruised. Reportedly the autopsy showed she had burn marks on the palm of her hands, 4 broken ribs, 5 marks on her neck consistent with ligature strangulation, bruises on her arms, back, chest, and legs. And internal bruising of a lung and a kidney. She died of closed head trauma or bleeding on the brain.
A Grand Jury indited Jones with 3 counts of aggravated murder, one count of attempted murder, and one count of felony 4th degree assault (that charge was for their child seeing Jones assault Koons, though it is thought that the child did not see the murder).
Jones pled guilty to one charge of murder, and will be sentenced on Oct. 19.
She was a drug user, she was a prostitute. She was a human being.
She was a daughter with parents who loved her, who now miss her. She was a mother. She was a woman who had once had a life in front of her.
It is often a vicious cycle. Drugs make the beatings easier. Drugs cost money, so in comes the prostitution. The beatings and prostitution reduce the self esteem even more, and so more drugs are needed. Could the cooperation with the drug investigation have been the catalyst to her breaking the cycle? Could she have ever gotten out? That choice was taken away from her, so we will never know.
A big thank you to D.P. for the tip on this one.