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Detroit Man Convicted of Killing 5

March 30, 1998

DETROIT (AP) _ A former welder was convicted on all counts today for stabbing stabbed an ex-girlfriend and four children to death after she told him she planned to abort his child.

The jury deliberated two hours over two days before finding 23-year-old Reco Jones guilty of five counts of first-degree murder. The convictions carry a mandatory sentence of life in prison.

The murders happened Aug. 13, two days after Yolanda Bellamy told Jones that she was breaking off their relationship, prosecutors said. Jones became enraged and grabbed a butcher knife after she told him she planned to have an abortion, prosecutors said.

Ms. Bellamy, who was not pregnant, was stabbed 11 times. Her sons, Nathan Burns Jr., 5, and Nathan Burns III, 3; her nephew, Delvontay Bellamy, 5; and her niece, Shafontah Bellamy, 3, all were stabbed at least 17 times. In addition, little Shafontah was tortured, authorities said. Her 34-pound body had 30 shallow puncture wounds that prolonged her death, deputy medical examiner Laning Davidson testified.

Executive Deputy Chief Benny Napoleon said at the time that the killings were ``the worst thing I’ve ever seen in 21 years of law enforcement.″

Jones was arrested the day of the killings. Six days later, he jumped from a fifth-floor window at police headquarters during an apparent escape attempt, breaking some bones and suffering internal injuries.

At the trial, Jones blamed the murders on another girlfriend but admitted he then helped destroy evidence and clean up the crime scene. The defense argued that authorities rushed to judgment in charging Jones without investigating the girlfriend.

But authorities said they found Jones’ blood in a droplet of water in the home.

While being cross-examined Thursday, Jones pulled a piece of paper out of his shirt pocket. He called it his script.

``I’ve been acting this out all along,″ he said. ``This script I had is just putting me farther in the hole.″

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