Purgatory inmate accused of child sex abuse additionally charged with solicitation of murder of witness

Washington County Sheriff's deputies in Washington County, Utah, Sept. 14, 2019 | File photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — A man implicated in a murder-for-hire scheme has been charged in connection with the alleged crime.

Kristoffer Jones, 29, booking photo posted in Washington County, Utah | Photo courtesy of Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

On Monday, detectives with the Washington County Sheriff’s Office booked 29-year-old Kristoffer Jones, an inmate at the Purgatory Correctional Facility, on two counts of criminal solicitation of murder.

According to a press release issued by the Sheriff’s Office, the arrest is the culmination of an investigation spanning several months. The investigation revealed that Jones allegedly solicited several inmates to either kill or assist in coordinating the murder of a juvenile witness/victim in the case for which he is currently incarcerated.

Detectives were made aware of the alleged murder-for-hire scheme through information gathered by deputies assigned to Purgatory Correctional Facility’s Corrections Intelligence Unit. They were able to obtain evidence to substantiate the information reported by the unit and continued their investigation into the solicitation plot.

With the aid of an undercover officer, authorities say sufficient evidence was gathered to support the fact that Jones had taken substantial steps from inside the correctional facility to carry out the plot to have the juvenile killed in an effort to prevent the witness from testifying in the pending criminal case against him.

Jones was being held on child sex offense charges stemming from an incident investigated by the St George Police Department in January 2019 involving a 13-year-old child.

Detectives worked closely with the Washington County Attorney’s Office throughout the investigation. Special consideration and safeguards have been implemented to ensure the safety of the juvenile, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Based on the information and evidence obtained by detectives during the investigation, Jones was booked at the Purgatory Correctional Facility for criminal solicitation of murder.

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.

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