Fresh start

Adult siblings set to re-enter society after release for murder committed at 12 and 13

Two Florida siblings, Curtis Jones, 29, and his 30-year-old sister Catherine will be released from a Florida prison in the next few weeks after spending 16 years behind bars after their 1999 convictions for second-degree murder. When the siblings were 12 and 13 years old, respectively, they used their father’s gun to kill his girlfriend, Sonya Speights, at the family’s home in Cocoa Beach, Florida. Original reports stated that the siblings planned to kill Speights out of jealousy that their father was planning to marry her. However, Florida Today reported that welfare documents show the siblings were targets of sexual abuse by another male family member, and that the children killed Speights and planned to kill their father when their cries for help went unheard. In a 2009 interview with USA Today, Catherine said although she regretted taking a life, “At one point I was just so happy to be away. I know that sounds, like, really messed up, but there was a point where I was just away from all that and I was by myself and I was safe.” Curtis will re-enter society as an ordained minister, and Catherine is already married to a Navy sailor she became pen pals with after he heard about her story. Catherine has expressed her concerns about reentering a society she doesn’t recognize, “there’s so much I must learn to function like a normal person: how to drive, fill out job applications, text, dress for a job interview … I’m completely clueless. The idea of being 30 and completely dependent on others to teach me how to do these basic things isn’t appealing. I’ll leave prison just as clueless as I was at 13.”

Read the full story at Business Insider.

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