A Durham man pleaded guilty Thursday to killing a father and son in 2016.
Deputies found the bodies of Dewayne Greer Sr., 51, and Dewayne Greer Jr., 18, inside a house at 3703 Angier Ave., in June 2016, after a neighbor called 911 expressing concern about the two men being “passed out or something.”
Douglas Hugh Jones Jr., who was initially charged with first-degree murder, pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree murder.
As part of a plea agreement, he was sentenced to 240 months to 300 months.
If convicted of first-degree murder, Jones would have faced a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.
“You need to understand and I hope that you do, that your lawyer has done an exceptional job for you,” Judge Jim Hardin said. “These facts, at least in my opinion, this could have warranted a death penalty.”
Assistant District Attorney Ray Griffis said Jones’ confessions and evidence in the case indicates Jones believed his uncle had “hired” him to kill the Greers.
The father worked for the uncle’s roofing business and lived in one of his houses. There were shortcuts taken involving roofing work and asbestos, Griffis said.
The father appeared to get sick, Griffis said, and searched online for what asbestos does to the body. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency came to a site, Griffis said.
“And at that time the uncle, Larry Jones, became scared and nervous that there would be an investigation on his property and that they might find some things he didn’t want the EPA to find,” Griffis said.
“And at that point it was told to Mr. Douglas Jones that he needs to handle the situation,” Griffis said. “And by handling Mr. Douglas Jones took that as killing both of the Greers.”
Griffis said the uncle doesn’t face any charges at this time. Larry Jones couldn’t be reached for comment Thursday afternoon.
Griffis said Jones went to the Greers’ home in the evening and initiated a 20- to 30-minute conversation.
Jones shot the son in the back of the head and then shot the father three times in the head.
Before leaving, he shot the son again in the torso.
Durham County sheriff’s deputies found the bodies the next day.
On two occasions, Douglas Jones admitted to individuals that he had committed the crimes.
‘That bloodline stops’
The aunt and sister of the victims, Alice Greer, attended Thursday’s hearing.
“This man took from me my only brother and his only son,” Alice Greer said. “That bloodline stops.
“I was going to come here today [and tell you] what you have done, Mr. Jones, to me and my family; then I realized you don’t care,” she continued. “You didn’t care when you pulled that trigger or when you protected evil. And that evil no longer cares for you, sir. That evil will sit with you for a lot of days.”
Her sobs were heard throughout the courtroom.
“Justice will not be served today, no matter what your sentence is,” she said. “I no longer have a brother. I no longer have a nephew. Remember that.”
Alice Greer told Jones that she and her mother (Greer Sr.’s mother) pray for his soul on a daily basis and that her brother, Greer Sr., thought of Jones as a friend.
“He would have given you his shirt off his back and his last square of food,” She said. “That’s the type of man he was. (Instead of appreciating it) you just took.”
Now, Jones will never get the chance to take anything else from him, Alice Greer said.
“Look at my face,” she said. “These are my brother’s eyes, this is my brother’s face. Don’t forget that.”
Jones looked down at his hands, then at Alice Greer and nodded.