Marion County jury recommends death for man who killed wife, her 4 children

Michael Jones, 41, will now likely face a Spencer hearing

Michael Jones, 41

MARION COUNTY, Fla. – A Marion County man who beat his wife to death with a baseball bat and then killed her four children in 2019 is one step closer to receiving the death penalty.

According to records filed Thursday on the Marion County Clerk of Courts website, a jury recommended the death penalty for Michael Jones.

Michael Jones, 41, will now likely face a Spencer hearing, which gives the defendant’s lawyers one more chance to provide evidence that could change the outcome of a sentence.

[TRENDING: Orlando officer helps deliver baby in car on I-4 | VIDEO: $2.6M home goes up in flames in Ponce Inlet | 21-foot killer whale washes ashore on Florida beach | Become a News 6 Insider]

Following a Spencer hearing, a judge will decide whether to accept the jury’s recommendation. If the judge does not accept it, Jones would then be given a sentence of life behind bars.

Jones pleaded guilty to five counts of murder in November 2022. His trial went to the penalty phase in the first week of January.

A new 142-page incident report details the deaths of a mother and her four children.

In September 2019, Casei Jones, 32, was reported missing by family members after she and her four children had not been seen for six weeks.

On Sept. 14, Casei Jones’ mother reported that she had not seen her daughter for weeks and she suspected Michael Jones had done something to them.

The family’s home in Summerfield vacant and smelled of decomposition, investigators said.

Deputies said that as they were searching the home, they were contacted by authorities in Georgia, who said Michael Jones was involved in a single-vehicle crash and his wife was dead inside his vehicle. Michael Jones then told investigators where to find the bodies of the children — Cameron Bowers, 10; Preston Bowers, 5; Mercalli Jones, 2; and Aiyana Jones, 1.

Watch News 6+ plus in the player below for live news and original programming:

Deputies later determined the woman was beaten to death with a baseball bat. They said Micahel Jones beat the victim to death because he believed she was unfaithful to him. Investigators said he later killed her four children because he was still mad at her and wanted to keep up the illusion that she was still alive.

Marion County Sheriff Billy Woods called the murders “true evil.”

Detectives said they believe Michael Jones stored the bodies at his home and in his van for several weeks before transporting them to Brantley County, Georgia.

No date has been set for Michael Jones’ Spencer Hearing or his sentencing.

Get today’s headlines in minutes with Your Florida Daily:

About the Author:

Thomas Mates is a digital storyteller for News 6 and He also produces the podcast Florida Foodie. Thomas is originally from Northeastern Pennsylvania and worked in Portland, Oregon before moving to Central Florida in August 2018. He graduated from Temple University with a degree in Journalism in 2010.