Henderson County, Texas (KETK) — A 10 year East Texas fugitive from justice was sentenced to 33 years in prison.
Travis Wayne Jones, 51, who had beenon the run for 10 years before his arrest in Arkansas in 2012, was sentenced Monday in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice by Third District Court Judge Mark Calhoon for the Aggravated Sexual Assault of two family members.
Law Enforcement officers from Texas to Arkansas, which included the Texas Rangers and US Marshalls, as well as exposure on America's Most Wanted Television, resulted in his capture.
Jones was first indicted by a Grand Jury for indecency with a child by sexual contact in July of 2001. He posted bond and made a few court appearances before missing an August 2002 setting.
He was indicted for another sexual assault by a Henderson County Grand Jury in November of 2003 while a fugitive and again in 2010.
After assuming office in 2009, District Attorney Scott McKee and Sheriff Ray Nutt made locating Jones a top priority. Sheriff Nutt placed him number one on his most wanted list with Investigator Billy Jack Valentine as the lead. Valentine was assigned to the United States Marshal's Service Joint East Texas Fugitive Task Force (JETF). Jones was Valentine’s number one priority. Through the efforts of Valentine, Jones had his profile placed on America's Most Wanted television program.
According to the Sheriff's Department report, after the show aired four years ago, the department received numerous tips advising then that Jones had been spotted in several states across the U.S. Valentine and the Marshall’s never let up and eventually tracked him from Alabama to Nevada, Colorado then Arkansas.
On April 10th of last year, Valentine received information that Jones was located in Monroe County, Ark.
Valentine and JETF forwarded this information to the Eastern Arkansas Fugitive Task Force (EAFTF). Marshal's in Arkansas began surveillance on Jones' suspected location eventually capturing and identifying him.
1st Assistant District Attorney Mark Hall and Assistant District Attorney Nancy Rumar prosecuted the case for Scott McKee’s District Attorney’s office. McKee personally handled the sentencing while the two victims (now grown women) looked on hand in hand with District Attorney Victim’s Assistance coordinator DeAnna Browning. Browning has been in constant contact with them since the case was first turned over to the DAs office back in 2000.
“It was a very emotional ending for these two young ladies.” Said McKee. “They will carry the scars of what he did to them for life. I pray to god that they find some peace after today”. McKee added that with Jones’s age and health, he hoped the sentence keeps him locked up for life.
“Mr. Jones had been on the lam for almost 10 years and it was beginning to look like he might avoid his day of reckoning for the terrible things he did to these young girls.” Said 1st Assistant Mark Hall. But with the persistence of law enforcement and the dogged determination of this office and law enforcement officials from many agencies, his days of running are finally over.”