While formal charges are pending in a Shawnee homicide case, the victim’s mother in Kentucky is planning funeral services for her son on Friday.
The murder victim, Marty Lee Jones, 45, was found dead inside his home Nov. 2 at 709 E. 11th in Shawnee. His stepson, 22-year-old Joseph M. Neay, also of Shawnee, remains jailed without bond on murder and arson complaints.
Jones’ mother, Mary Conner, said her son resided in Oklahoma for the past 15 years but was born and raised in Kentucky, where many family members still reside. As she prepared to leave for church services Wednesday evening, she said she was awaiting the return of her son’s body to Kentucky, where funeral services are being held Friday.
While the thought of losing her son is unbearable, Conner said she has to keep going.
“By the strength of God I will make it,” she said, “but my heart will never mend from this.”
Conner said she and her son were close.
“He was just a wonderful person — full of life,” Conner said, admitting that her son was never shy about being a “momma’s boy.”
Her son, who worked as a salesman and truck driver before suffering a work injury, leaves behind two children, ages 12 and 9, who live with their mother in Prague, Conner said.
“Marty is going to be missed so much — he had a heart of gold,” she said, adding he enjoyed life and was a good father.
Her son had remarried about nine months ago but the couple had separated about a week before his death, Conner said. Her daughter-in-law, Jennifer, was at her mother’s home in Texas when she called with the news, Conner said. With her daughter-in-law’s son being suspected in the murder, Conner is having a hard time understanding why this happened.
“It’s been so stressful — my brain feels numb,” Conner said, adding she feels certain her daughter-in-law’s heart is also aching.
Shawnee police arrested Neay within hours of the body being discovered.
Shawnee Police Chief Russell Frantz said a postal carrier delivering mail reported smoke coming from the house just before 10 a.m. Friday. Shawnee firefighters responded to the home to battle that blaze, where they found Jones dead in the kitchen, with fire crews reporting to police the scene was suspicious.
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Frantz said along with assault and stab wounds, the body was partially burned. At the onset of the probe, Frantz said investigators believed the fire was set in attempts to cover up the death.
Police were questioning two persons of interest in the case within a few hours of the discovery of the body, and by mid-afternoon, had arrested Neay as the suspect in the case.
Neay didn’t reside at the same home as his stepfather but lived at a residence nearby in area of Philadelphia and 11th streets, police said.
Frantz initially said a domestic-related issue between the stepfather and stepson was a factor in the case. According to court records, Jones’ wife, who is the suspect’s mother, had filed an emergency protective order against Marty Jones on Oct. 29 and that order was served to him on Nov. 1.
Further information on the official cause and manner of death is awaited from the state medical examiner.
Neay, who has not been formally charged, remains jailed in the Pottawatomie County Public Safety Center. His next court appearance is scheduled Nov. 19.
Watch for updates.