A 41-year-old Orange County man was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison for the kidnapping of an employee of a Port St. Lucie group home in 2022.
In Fort Pierce on Monday, South Florida District Court Senior Judge James I. Cohn sentenced Marques Deon Jones for the kidnapping charge and possession of a firearm.
Jones is also facing charges in St. Lucie County stemming from his arrest: two counts of aggravated assault of a law enforcement officer, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of cocaine and resisting an officer without violence. A trial date has not been set yet.
On Aug. 14, 2022, Jones pistol-whipped his girlfriend at the group home near Southeast Walton Road, and forced her to leave with him in her vehicle, prosecutors said. A group home supervisor, who witnessed the kidnapping, notified Port St. Lucie Police Department, who identified Jones.
The next day, the U.S. Marshals Florida Regional Fugitive Task Force found Jones outside a private residence in Fort Pierce. As task force officers approached Jones, he retrieved a firearm from a parked car and attempted to flee, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
According to an arrest affidavit, Jones pointed the weapon at two deputies as he ran toward the backyard of a nearby home
One deputy gave orders for Jones to stop and drop the gun. Fearing for his personal safety and the safety of others, the deputy fired his weapon toward Jones, who fell to the ground and dropped his weapon, the arrest affidavit stated.
During a pat down search, deputies said they found a white powdery substance on Jones that tested positive for cocaine.
Footage from a law enforcement body-worn camera showed Jones admitting that he retrieved the firearm because he wanted officers to shoot and kill him.
Surveillance video of SLCSO pursuit
The Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Miami Field Division, and U.S. Marshal Service investigated the group home case with assistance from the St. Lucie County Sheriffs Office, Port St. Lucie Police Department and Fort Pierce Police Department.