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Man pleads guilty to murdering son-in-law 

Philip Jones pleaded guilty Tuesday to the murder of his son-in-law Jarrod Davidson.

In July 2004, Jones and his wife Malinda allegedly left their home in Grover Beach to set an ambush for Davidson at his residence in Goleta. The surprise attack was a bloody climax to the bitter custody battle between Davidson and the Joneses' daughter Kelee over Jarrod's and Kelee's 4-year-old girl.

The Jones family is in the process of plea-bargaining to give Kelee Davidson a chance at reunion with her daughter in the future. Jones pleaded guilty to murder with special circumstances and will likely receive a sentence of life without parole, though Jones was given two years or less to live after his diagnosis of terminal lung cancer two months after his arrest.

Malinda Jones is expected to plead guilty to murder, and will likely receive 28 years to life. Kelee Davidson pleaded guilty to one count of perjury and accessory and may receive up to six years in prison.

 

-K.M.

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