Brothers on trial for 1989 murder

Posted at 10:24 PM, Apr 19, 2015
and last updated 2015-04-20 06:05:31-04

WHITE CLOUD, Mich.-- It’s a murder that shook residents in Newaygo County and all of West Michigan.

Shannon Siders, 18, was found months after her death by a hunter in the Manistee National Forest, presumably raped, beaten, and killed. Nearly a year after a pair of brothers were arrested and charged with the killing, their trial is set to begin Monday.

Paul Michael Jones and Matthew Wayne Jones, now in their 40s, have been behind bars since charges were filed last summer. The case itself sat cold for decades, until a Michigan State Police Cold Case team reopened the case in 2011. Siders' family says the Jones brothers have been suspects have been on the ‘short list’ since the beginning.

One summer day in 1989, Shannon Siders left her house to hang out with her friends. Her father, Bob Siders, didn’t know it was the last time he would say 'Goodbye’ to his daughter. “It changes your life,” Siders told FOX 17 News a year ago. You have good days and bad days. A lot of both."

The prosecution is hoping to prove that the Jones brothers, who were 17 and 19 at the time, are responsible for Siders’ death.

Fox 17 was there in 2012 when a cold case team exhumed Siders’ body in the search for more clues. At that time the Jones brothers were not charged yet.

An arrest affidavit revealed in June of 2014 said a witness observed Paul Jones drag Shannon, bloody and limp, to a vehicle. Also, the brothers were overheard talking about hitting her with a mirror, beating and raping her.

Years after Siders’ death, other unreported sexual assault cases surfaced that implicated Matthew as a suspect. Paul was serving time for a home invasion in 2006 where he had a rape kit that included duct tape, condoms, Vaseline, and a stun gun.

When pretrial was delayed last June, brothers left the courtroom with a crude gesture. “He waved to the cold case team, but he only used one finger,” said Siders at the time. "That’s the kind of person he is, I guess. When I wave, I use my whole hand."

This time the brothers won’t be making a quick exit. The trial is scheduled to start Monday and expected to last up to two weeks.