A Kansas man was sentenced Monday to life in prison for murdering his 7-year-old son and feeding his remains to pigs, PEOPLE confirms.
Michael A. Jones, 46, pleaded guilty in March to the first-degree murder of Adrian Jones, whose remains were found in the family’s pigpen in Kansas City, Kansas, in November 2015. The boy’s stepmother Heather Jones pleaded guilty to a charge of first-degree murder and two counts of child abuse. She was sentenced in November.
Jones, a former bail bondsman, must serve 25 years before seeking parole. His attorney could not immediately be reached for comment.
“It was a relief,” Adrian’s grandmother Judy Conway tells PEOPLE about the sentencing. “It was very difficult being in the same room with him. The whole time we were speaking he turned his chair around and looked the other way. He never made eye contact with any of us.”
“I hope he felt totally ashamed but I don’t know what goes on in the minds of someone who is that evil,” she says. “I am leaning more towards he had no remorse. I wanted him to at least say ‘I am sorry’ for what he did.”
Police were first called to the rental home in the 5200 block of North 99th Street the day before Thanksgiving for a domestic disturbance call, according to the Kansas City Star. Once there, police discovered that Adrian had been missing for several months and was possibly a murder victim.
The police came back the following day and found human remains in the barn, which were later identified as Adrian’s, the Star reports.
“The day before Thanksgiving, my daughter called me and said they found the remains of a 7-year-old, and Adrian is missing and they believe it is him,” recalls Conway. “I completely lost it and left work. I was in shell shock. I just couldn’t believe it. I thought maybe it didn’t happen, maybe it wasn’t Adrian, and this was an old crime and the bones were just there. Of course, I got to the point that I knew in my heart it was Adrian.”
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Conway says she had attempted for months to reach her grandson but was consistently put off by the Joneses. She was told they had moved out of state.
“I had been trying for the longest time to convince them they needed to let us see the kids,” she says. “Even at that point I didn’t realize any abuse was going on. You don’t expect that kind of evil is going to come knocking on your backdoor. If I had any inclination I would have gone in and done every thing possible to save him.”
Jones, she says, “was always respectful in front of me. He was really quiet.”
It wasn’t until after the arrest that Conway was told what happened to her grandson.
Allegations of Elaborate Abuse
The Joneses, she alleges, repeatedly abused Adrian, making him stand outside in a pool of stagnant water overnight and making him hold tiki torches over his head for long periods of time.
“There were 32 surveillance cameras in the house, which included cameras in the backyard, to watch him all night long,” she says. “One of their forms of abuse was him standing in one position for long periods of time with his hands above his head. He wasn’t allowed to take his hands down.”
The Joneses, she alleges, also strapped her grandson to an inversion table. “He had been strapped to the table so much that his little hands and his ankles were permanently swollen,” she says. “They are both really evil and there is nothing else that can describe it.”
Conway alleges she saw photos of the boy starved with cuts, bruises and scrapes all over his body.
During the sentencing, Detective Stuart Littlefield also described the alleged abuse Adrian suffered, which included being regularly shocked with a stun gun for 20 seconds.
“Imagine the screams of a 7-year-old boy,” the detective said, according to the Kansas City Star. “Twenty seconds is a very long time when you’re in agony.”
“I pray you have a long, tortured life in prison,” Adrian’s mother, Dainna Pearce, told Jones during the sentencing, according to the Associated Press. “I don’t know if I can forgive you, but I know you should suffer for what you did.”
Conway remembers Adrian as the little boy with a big smile. “When he smiled you could not help but smile,” she says. “His face completely lit up.”