Dad MELVIN LEE CARTER has been sentenced to more than 21 years to life for murdering his girlfriend, the mother of their two children. Of course the @$$wipe had to do it with lots of Daddy Drama--held the mother and her cousin captive for several hours before strangling the mother to death. And of course, their two very young children--just 17 and 5 months of age--were in the home as well and are now motherless. Is it any surprise that Daddy was out of jail for battering the mom in November, despite being on probation for a 2008 domestic violence conviction?
Melvin Lee Carter sentenced in girlfriend's murder
By Dana Littlefield, UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER
Originally published July 3, 2010 at 9:17 a.m., updated July 3, 2010 at 9:18 a.m.
A San Diego man convicted of holding his girlfriend captive for hours, then strangling her to death in the couple’s Golden Hill apartment, was sentenced Friday to more than 21 years to life in prison.
Melvin Lee Carter, 29, was convicted last month of second-degree murder, false imprisonment and assault with a deadly weapon in connection with the slaying of Christina Michelle Jones, 31, the mother of his two children. Jones also has a child from a previous relationship.
During an emotional hearing before San Diego Superior Court Judge Robert O’Neill, several of Jones’ family members railed at Carter, not just for the murder on Dec. 17 but for the years of abuse he inflicted on the victim.
According to evidence presented at his trial, Carter was sent to jail in November on suspicion of battering Carter. He was on probation at the time for a 2008 domestic violence conviction, also involving Jones.
Terry Jones, the victim’s father, said that at the time he was happy to hear that Carter was back in jail, just a few weeks before Christmas.
The father told the court he thought to himself, “At least she won’t have a shiner this year.”
The victim’s sister, Andrea Martin, said it wasn’t until Friday morning that she heard the 911 call Christina Jones made moments before she was killed. In the recording, which was played in court repeatedly during the trial, Jones can be heard asking a dispatcher to send help, then garbled sounds.
Prosecutors said that was the victim being attacked and gasping for air.
“Do you know how bad it hurt to hear you kill my sister? ” Martin said through her tears. “I hate you, I hate you so bad right now.”
Carter kept his head down while the family members spoke. When it was his turn to make a statement, he apologized for what he had done and tearfully asked for the family’s forgiveness.
“I’m truly sorry,” he said, speaking just above a whisper. “I love her. I love her, too. I’m not going to sit here and be in denial about what happened because I am guilty and I can never take it back.”
His lawyer, Deborah Kirkwood, argued during the trial that it was not a premeditated killing and that “passion overcame reason” that day.
Deputy District Attorney Scott Pirrello argued that Carter’s anger toward Jones grew as he sat in jail, waiting for her to bail him out.
On Dec. 17, Carter’s family members posted bail and he returned to the apartment on A Street near Granada Avenue. He pushed his way inside and held Jones and her 21-year-old cousin, Jennifer Bradford, captive for nearly seven hours. The couple’s two children, a 5-month-old girl and a 17-month-old boy, were also in the apartment.
During the ordeal, Carter swung a knife and a skillet at Bradford, but missed both times.
At some point, Bradford made a break for the door and Jones ran to a bathroom. They both called 911.
Struggling to control her emotions Friday, Bradford talked about celebrating her last birthday with her cousin, just five days before the murder. She described Jones as a beautiful and loving mother, who lost her life too soon.
“Thank you, cousin, for sacrificing your life for me and most of all for your kids,” she said.