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Suspect in murder of young dad had just been released from jail

William Jones is charged with killing Christopher Neal
Posted at 5:16 PM, Dec 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-05 08:33:49-05

COMSTOCK TOWNSHIP, Mich. — The man accused of killing a young father and shooting several police officers has an extensive criminal background. According to court records, he was released from jail just days before the murder he is accused of.

Thirty-five-year-old William Paul Jones is facing 19 charges related to Sunday night's killing. Jones is accused of breaking into a young family's home and holding them hostage. Police say he killed 22-year-old Christopher Neal while his wife and young daughter hid upstairs. After police entered, Jones is accused of firing upon them.

Three officers were shot in the ordeal. All of them are expected to survive.

Battle Creek Police Deputy Chief Jim Grafton told FOX 17 Wednesday, “He’s been arrested many times by our department and I believe other departments. But yes, he’s had many many different contacts involving many different types of crimes.”

Grafton says Jones is from the Battle Creek area.

According to records held by the State of Michigan, Jones was released from jail just five days before he is accused of killing Neal. He was being held in the Calhoun County Jail. He had been behind bars since February on a fraud charge.

Jones has a record that goes back to 2002, initially being sentenced to three years on probation on a home invasion charge.

According to the Michigan Department of Corrections, Jones has been in prison two times. He did a little over a year for receiving and concealing stolen property. He returned to prison in 2010 on a charge of obstructing police. He was released on that charge in October of 2015.

He was jailed at least 11 more times for crimes ranging from drug possession to domestic violence and assaulting/resisting an officer.