July 4, 1995 in Idaho

Jail Time Ordered For Shots Man Distraught Over Mom’s Death Scared Neighbors By Firing Weapon

By The Spokesman-Review
 

Alone and distraught over the death of his mother, Terry Jones fired several shots outside his camper in the Bambi RV Park three months ago.

The shots brought police, an evacuation of the surrounding area, and eventually tear gas to force the drunken Jones from the camper.

On Monday, District Judge Gary Haman cited Jones’ past criminal history and the danger that the dramatic standoff posed for police and neighbors when he sentenced Jones to five years in prison.

“I’m sorry for the fear and danger I put the public in at that time,” Jones told Haman during his sentencing. “I’m glad nobody got hurt.”

Despite the circumstances leading to the eight-hour standoff with police, Haman said he could not let Jones go free.

“Most people don’t react the way you did,” Haman told the slight, mustached man before him clad in baggy orange-red jail attire. “Obviously not all those shots landed in the tree.”

“I’m aware of that,” Jones said, nodding.

Jones will spend nine more months incar cerated before he’s up for parole. He’s already served three months of the sentence.

“I believe the judge was fair, more than fair,” the soft-spoken Jones said following the sentencing. “I did put people’s lives in jeopardy. That was definitely wrong and scary.”

Jones’ public attorney, Suzanne Graham, said Jones deserved a light sentence because of his mental state at the time of the April incident and his good behavior in the Kootenai County Jail since then.

Jones lived in his camper with his 76-year-old mother, Mary Jones, who he took on fishing excursions and other trips. Jones’ brother had committed suicide years before, about the same time his father died.

He knew few other people in Coeur d’Alene, said David Cheyney, the only friend who appeared at the sentencing.

Graham said Jones “was very attached” to his mother, who in March had a heart attack. While she was in the Intensive Care Unit at Kootenai Medical Center, Jones started drinking.

He claims that he had quit drinking for three months prior to his mother’s death.

“He can’t stand to be home alone,” Graham said. “All he wanted was somebody to hold his hand and take him up to ICU. KMC did not assist him in any way.

“It does appear he was a danger to himself or people around him.”

Jones said he was alone in his grief after his mother died.

“I had no one to turn to,” he told Haman. “I tried to turn to KMC. My friends probably thought I needed to be alone.”

Jones said he does not remember much about the night of the shooting. Graham said jail personnel told her that he was so emotionally distraught that they brought a psychiatrist to see him. For a time, he was on medication for his mental state, she said.

Deputy prosecuting attorney Brian Watkins argued that Jones should get three years of prison time before parole.

“There is absolutely no excuse…for shooting out of your camper recklessly,” he said.

After the sentencing, Graham patted Jones on the back.

“Oops, didn’t work,” he told Cheyney, before he was led away by a bailiff. “I guess I’ll see you in a year.”

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