Jones convicted of first degree murder in death of Roseville girl – Macomb Daily
A 28-year-old Roseville man was convicted on Friday of first-degree murder and first-degree child abuse in the brutal death of Ivy Yurkus, his girlfriend’s 4-year-old daughter.
A Macomb County Circuit Court jury returned the guilty verdicts for Jonathan Jones after deliberating for 2½ days following a nine-day trial preceded by three days of jury selection.
Jones will be sentenced April 13 by Judge Kathryn Viviano to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Upon hearing the verdict, Jones began to cry at the defense table. He sobbed as he was escorted out of the courtroom by sheriff’s deputies and could be heard sobbing as he waited in a holding cell behind the courtroom.
Macomb’s assistant district attorney Joshua Van Laan, who pursued the case with Macomb’s assistant district attorney Jean Cloud, later said the jury made the right decision.
“We are extremely happy that the jury has brought justice to this child. Although it took 4 and a half years, justice prevailed,” he said.
The case was delayed a dozen times, twice after jury selection began, for various reasons, most of them due to restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Van Laan said the lengthy jury deliberations were of no concern to him, noting the length and complexity of the trial, which included extensive medical testimony.
“We are grateful to the jury for taking the time to consider all the evidence before reaching their verdict,” he said.
Jones’ attorney Scott Weinberg said he and co-counsel Nicole Castka were “shocked” by the outcome.
“While we respect the jury system, we believe they reached a verdict that was not supported by evidence,” Weinberg said afterwards.
Jones and his family are “devastated” by the verdicts, he said.
“He denies all incidents of abuse of Ivy,” Weinberg said. “Ivy was her love’s love.”
Weinberg thinks his client can get a reversal on appeal.
“We believe there are many issues on appeal which we hope will result in an overturn by the Court of Appeal,” he said.
He said his client was prejudiced by the fact that the prosecution had presented evidence that Ivy had been hospitalized for a mysterious illness 11 months before her death, and that there was no evidence Jones had contributed. to this health problem.
Jones brought an unresponsive Ivy to his girlfriend’s work at a restaurant in Roseville shortly before 6 p.m. on May 3. Ivy was taken to Ascension St. John’s Hospital in Detroit, where she died 14 hours later from blunt force trauma to her abdomen.
Several doctors testified that a major vein in Ivy’s stomach had been severed. A Wayne County medical examiner testified that Ivy suffered numerous abdominal injuries.
Prosecutors argued Jones punched her in the stomach in the laundry room of their home on Galloway Street near 12 Mile Road and Gratiot Avenue before Jones took his girlfriend, Amanda Yurkus, to work at the restaurant where he then brought Ivy. He then abused her after she returned home, prosecutors claimed, after Amanda Yurkus lambasted him as he drove her to work after Ivy told her he punched her in the face. the stomach. The fatal blows were retaliation, they theorized.
Ivy also showed signs of other abuse. Her back and buttocks were badly bruised, and she had three bruises on the left side of her face.
The jury reviewed video and audio testimony Thursday from Ivy’s brother, who was 7, and testified behind closed doors, and Amanda Yurkus, who testified for more than six hours.
Amanda Yurkus, her mother, and other family members did not believe Jones caused the fatal injuries to Ivy.
A witness, Leah Pacholke, who testified at the start of the trial, attended the entire trial after taking the stand. She said she was there to support Ivy and took time off from her job as a flight attendant to attend.
“There’s no one here for Ivy,” she said ahead of the verdicts. “I’m here for Ivy.”
Pacholke, who is a certified CPR instructor, was dining at the Outback in Roseville where Ivy was initially brought and was the only one providing her with treatment at the time. She testified that Ivy’s lips were blue and her breach was a “cackle”.