Ashley Jones was fourteen when she would participate in the murders of her grandfather and aunt and attempted murders of her sister and grandmother. According to court documents Ashley family did not approve of her relationship with Geramie Hart who was sixteen years old. On the day of the attack Ashley and Geramie would enter the home and would shoot seventy six year old Deroy Nalls twice in the head before going into the bedroom of thirty year old Millie Nalls who would be shot three times but would not die immediately, the woman was beaten, stabbed and set on fire. Seventy five year old Mary Nalls would be shot in the shoulder.
Deroy Nalls who was still alive would be stabbed repeatedly before being set on fire. Ashley sister, Mary Jones, who was ten years old would be stabbed repeatedly by Ashley. Ashley and Geramie Hart would steal money from the home before setting the home on fire. Mary Jones and Mary Nalls would escape from the home and alerted authorities. The two teen killers would be sentenced to life without parole
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Geramie Hart, who celebrated his 16th birthday a few weeks before these crimes, and his 14-year-old girlfriend, Ashley Jones, apparently planned to kill members of Ashley’s family because her family did not approve of Ashley’s relationship with Hart. Ashley and her 10-year-old sister, Mary Jones, lived with their grandparents, 76-year-old Deroy Nalls and 75-year-old Mary Nalls. One of Deroy and Mary’s daughters and Ashley’s aunt, 30-year-old Millie Nalls, also lived in the house.
Late in the evening on August 29, 1999, Deroy was in the den watching television. His wife, daughter, and younger granddaughter were asleep in their rooms. Ashley let Hart into the house; he was armed with Deroy’s .38 caliber pistol, which Ashley had given him earlier. Ashley and Hart entered the den, and Hart shot Deroy twice in the face. Deroy did not die immediately; he stumbled toward the kitchen.
Ashley Jones and Hart then entered Millie’s bedroom and shot her three times. She survived the gunshots, and they then hit her with portable heaters, stabbed her in the chest, and set her room on fire. The pair next entered Mary Nalls’s bedroom and fired the last bullet from the gun into her shoulder. Hart was wearing a bandana over his face, but Ashley’s grandmother recognized him. Hart also identified himself to Mrs. Nalls.
Ashley Jones and Hart returned to discover that Deroy was still alive. Hart hit him with various objects and stabbed him repeatedly, leaving the knife in his back. Ashley poured charcoal lighter fluid on her grandfather and set him on fire. Ashley’s sister, Mary, woke up and Ashley led her into the kitchen area. She saw her grandfather on the floor of the den; he was on fire but still alive, Mary said. Hart forced Deroy Nalls to disclose where he kept his money, and after Mr. Nalls complied, Hart stabbed him in the throat. Mrs. Nalls who survived after being stabbed, could not remember whether Hart or Ashley had stabbed her.
Ashley poured the charcoal fluid on Mrs. Nalls, then they set her on fire. Ashley and Hart watched Mrs. Nalls burn, and Hart urged Ashley to pour more of the flammable liquid on her. Mary Jones attempted to leave the kitchen, but Ashley Jones grabbed her sister and began hitting her. Hart pointed the gun at the 10-year-old and said, “This is how you are going to die.” (R. 686.) Ashley said, “No, let me do it,” and stabbed her sister 14 times. Hart and Ashley piled sheets, towels, and paper on the floor and set the pile on fire.
Hart and Ashley Jones took $300 that was hidden beneath Deroy and Mary Nalls’s mattress and drove away in the Nallses’ vehicle. Mary Jones, who had pretended to be dead, helped her grandmother out of the house and contacted others for assistance.
The coroner determined that Deroy and Millie Nalls died from the stab and gunshot wounds they sustained. He testified that both victims suffered greatly from their wounds before they died. Mary Jones was treated for the numerous stab wounds Ashley inflicted. Mary Nalls, who sustained burns to 35% of her body, was taken to a burn unit, where she was also treated for the gunshot and stab wounds she suffered. She was hospitalized for weeks, received skin grafts, and underwent extensive rehabilitative therapy.
Hart and Ashley Jones were arrested the next morning in a hotel room. The Nallses’ vehicle was in the parking lot of the hotel. Hart and Jones gave voluntary statements describing their involvement in the murders and attempted murders of Jones’s family members.