DNA leads to arrest in grisly 1994 murder of woman, her 3-year-old son in Seattle suburb

RENTON, Wash. — A violent career criminal already serving time for murder in a California prison was charged late last week in the 27-year-old cold case murders of a Seattle-area woman and her toddler son.

The bodies of Stacy Falcon-Dewey, 23, and Jacob “Jake” Dewey, 3, of Kent, were found early Oct. 28, 1994, lying in a deserted Renton roadway next to Falcon-Dewey’s Buick. Both had been fatally shot, KIRO 7 in Seattle reported.

According to King County prosecutors, DNA testing on semen found on Falcon-Dewey’s body shows the fluid belongs to Jerome Frank Jones, 51, who is in California’s Kern Valley State Prison. Jones was convicted in the 1995 murder of Gregory Hebdon, 30, of Irvine, California.

>> Read more trending news

Hebdon was shot in broad daylight March 31, 1995, in an alley behind his townhome, the Los Angeles Times reported. His wife, who heard the shots, found him lying near death next to his Toyota Land Cruiser. Hebdon, a businessman, died a short time later at a hospital.

In the Renton case, Jones is accused of accosting Falcon-Dewey sometime after she picked her son up from a babysitter, who lived in the same Kent apartment complex as Jones.

“The defendant bound Stacy Falcon-Dewey, beat her, orally raped her and likely shot her child to death in front of her before killing her,” King County charging documents state. “The extraordinary violence and cruelty of these murders demonstrates the extreme danger he presents to society.”

Read Jerome Jones’ charging documents below.

The DNA testing determined Jones was the source of the semen in 2002, but no arrest was made at that time. Falcon-Dewey’s mother, Vianne Falcon, wrote on a fundraising page in 2019 that she had just learned of the DNA match — more than 17 years after the fact.

Court documents do not say why no charges were ever filed against Jones. Falcon, who said she learned of the genetic match only after a local reporter began digging into the case, was seeking financial help to find an attorney to force the prosecutor’s hand.

Jones will be eligible for parole in California in 2030, according to prison records. If he is convicted of the murder charges in King County, however, he faces life in prison without the possibility of parole.

A grisly scene

According to contemporary news accounts, Falcon-Dewey had left Jake with the sitter the night of Oct. 27 for a belated celebration of her birthday. She went to the Kenton Ridge Apartments to pick up her son sometime between 1 a.m. and 2 a.m. the next day, court records indicate.

Though they left the babysitter’s home all right, she and Jake never arrived at her apartment a short distance away.

Around 3:30 a.m. that day, a Seattle Times newspaper carrier called 911 to report discovering a body lying in the road on S. 55th Street in Renton, a dead-end road about 3 miles from babysitter’s apartment complex.

It was Falcon-Dewey. Lying on top of her was her young son.

“Stacy was lying on her right side,” reads an affidavit written by Renton police Det. Tracie Jarratt. “Jacob was lying on his mother’s legs, on his left side. Both had obvious gunshot wounds.”

Both she and Jake had been shot in the head. Falcon-Dewey also had gunshot wounds to her arm and shoulder, one of which authorities determined struck her after it went through her son’s small body.

In addition, Falcon-Dewey had blunt force trauma to her head, bruising and linear abrasions to her neck, the affidavit states.

“Evidence collected and documented from the scene suggests that a struggle occurred both inside and outside of the vehicle and that the killer may have been looking for something,” Jarratt wrote.

The contents of Falcon-Dewey’s purse were strewn about the vehicle, including her wallet. The car’s keys were later found in the space between the driver’s seat and the door, where they apparently fell and could not be seen.

In the Buick were “circular” sections of brown packing tape that indicated they had been used as binding for Falcon-Dewey’s hands and feet. Falcon-Dewey’s belt was unbuckled, and buttons had been ripped from her shirt.

Swabs and fingernail clippings taken from Falcon-Dewey’s body at autopsy and tested for DNA in 2001 indicated the presence of semen in the victim’s throat and on her hand at the time of her death.

According to Jarratt, authorities learned after the 2002 DNA match that Jones was already behind bars in connection with Hebdon’s California slaying. Detectives flew south and visited Jones at the Salinas Valley State Prison.

Jones admitted that he had lived in the Kent-Auburn area in 1994 and 1995.

“When shown a picture of Stacy Falcon, Jones said that he did not know her,” the affidavit states. “Jones was asked this question several times and he said he was positive that he had never met her and did not know her.”

The manager of the Kenton Ridge Apartments confirmed that Jones had lived there from 1993 to 1994. The records also showed that Falcon-Dewey lived at the same complex in 1994, moving elsewhere just months before she was murdered.

Detectives could not find a link other than the DNA results, however. None of her friends recognized Jones as someone she was seen with the night of her birthday celebration.

The clerk at a convenience store Falcon-Dewey visited around 1:20 a.m. the morning of the murders reported seeing her with an unidentified white man.

Jones is Black.

>> Read more true crime stories

In addition, no one who saw Falcon-Dewey leave the babysitter’s home with her son saw Jones or anyone else with her at that time.

According to court documents, a number of other pieces of physical evidence were recently submitted to the crime lab for additional testing. In December, cold case detectives learned that semen had been found on the sleeve of Jake Dewey’s jacket.

The DNA matched that of Jones.

A subsequent DNA sample taken from Jones in prison confirmed the match.

Court records show that it was five months after Falcon-Dewey and Jake were slain that Jones and an accomplice shot and killed Hebdon more than 1,000 miles away in Irvine. Following the shooting, he fled back to Seattle, where he was arrested on a first-degree murder charge.

While in the King County Jail, he assaulted a corrections officer, for which he was convicted in 1996. The judge sentenced him well above the standard range in that case.

“The sentencing court found that ‘the defendant committed this assault with deliberate cruelty, delivering multiple, gratuitous blows to (the victim), even after the officer had fallen to the floor,’” court documents state.

Sentencing paperwork in the Hebdon case indicated that Jones also had a previous conviction for shooting a victim in the back during a 1987 robbery. While in prison, he has been convicted of additional felony assaults, as well as felony possession of a weapon, prosecutors say.

“Given the defendant’s conduct in this case, his conviction for yet another murder and his numerous additional convictions for violence, no bail is justified in this matter,” reads the request that Jones be held without bond.

Prosecutors went on to state that Jones “clearly presents a substantial likelihood of danger to the entire community.”

Once he is extradited to King County, Jones will be held without bail pending trial in the double murder of Falcon-Dewey and her son.