The former police chief of a small northeast Missouri town is facing second-degree murder charges after his girlfriend’s brother died of a drug overdose in his home last year.
William E. Jones, 50, the former police chief in Louisiana, Missouri, was indicted by a Pike County grand jury on seven charges in the death of 24-year-old Gabriel Thone, who was found dead on the floor of a bedroom in Jones’ house in October.
Jones was arrested Friday and is being held on $1 million cash bail, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.
Thone was the brother of Jones’ girlfriend, Alexis Thone. Another of Thone’s brothers also overdosed at the home but was revived by paramedics.
Jones was charged in October with several felonies, including drug trafficking and stealing the from police department’s evidence locker. He was fired as police chief when those charges were filed.
Second-degree murder alleges a person died as the result of someone committing a felony. The underlying felony that prosecutors allege in Jones’ case is trafficking fentanyl.
Jones’ lawyer, Christopher Lozano, said Jones is innocent.
“He’s only guilty of loving somebody with a drug problem — the girlfriend,” Lozano said. “Her two brothers were house guests, and it’s tragic. That’s it.”
The girlfriend, Alexis Thone, 25, of O’Fallon, told investigators she didn’t know where her brother got the drugs. Jones said he “had no idea” illegal drugs were being used in his home, court documents said.
Louisiana, a town of about 3,200 residents, is about 90 miles (145 kilometers) northwest of St. Louis.
In the case filed in October, Jones was accused in court documents of taking methamphetamine from the police department’s evidence locker and throwing narcotic test kits in a dumpster before deputies arrived.
Alexis Thone also was charged with second-degree drug trafficking and possession of a controlled substance in October.