Vincennes man sentenced to life in jail

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The Associated Press

VINCENNES, Ind. (AP) — A judge sentenced a Vincennes man Friday to life in prison without the possibility of parole for raping and murdering a Vincennes University student.Brian Jones, 23, was convicted Dec. 13 in Knox County Superior Court of raping and fatally stabbing 19-year-old Brook Baker in September 1997.During the trial, the judge ruled the jury could not be informed that Jones had earlier pleaded guilty to killing another Vincennes University student, Erika Norman, 21, on July 4, 1999.The guilty plea in the Norman case in August was part of a plea agreement. The prosecution agreed not to seek the death penalty in the Baker case if Jones admitted he killed Norman.Jones was sentenced to 60 years in prison for Norman's murder.After finding Jones guilty in Baker's death, the jury was told of the admission in the Norman case. The jury then recommended a sentence in the Baker case of life in prison without parole, which Knox County Superior Court Judge Tim Crowley followed.During Friday's hearing, Jones sat emotionless next to his attorney, Scott Danks of Evansville.He did not look up as Baker's mother, Janet, pleaded with the judge to give Jones the toughest sentence possible.Crowley said the fact that Jones openly admitted he killed Norman was a factor when considering the sentence.Crowley also said Baker had been stabbed multiple times in a brutal manner and he was concerned that there was a substantial risk Jones would commit another crime.Jones needs to be confined in prison so he can obtain rehabilitative services, Crowley said.

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