Former Northumberland County deputy sheriff and school resource officer Derek Jones went to jail Thursday.
Jones, who faced 15 felony charges of sexual misconduct with a teenaged girl with whom he was in a custodial capacity,
pleaded guilty to eight of the charges before Circuit Court Judge Harry T. Taliaferro Oct. 18. Commonwealth’s Attorney Julia Sichol of Westmoreland County, who was standing in for Northumberland County Commonwealth’s Attorney Jane Wrightson, declined to prosecute Jones on the remaining seven charges.
Jones did not ask for his bond to be continued until his sentencing, according to his lawyer, Charles J. McKerns, Jr. McKerns noted the Virginia sentencing guidelines provide a range of actual incarceration periods for the crimes to which Jones pleaded guilty, ranging from two years and one month to six years and seven months depending on the defendant’s record and other factors.
Jones will be sentenced either on Dec. 20 or Jan.10, 2013 depending on when the pre-sentence report is completed. McKerns said he expects to call numerous witnesses in an effort to keep Jones’s sentence in the lower ranges of those indicated in the guidelines.
The female involved in the case is still a minor and has not been publicly identified.
While Jones pleaded guilty, admitting the charges under Virginia’s proposing indecent liberties with a minor statute, he entered an “Alford Plea” to a charge of using an electronic device to solicit forbidden conduct. That charge involved use of a cell phone. In an Alford Plea the defendant does not admit the acts alleged but still pleads guilty.