Ohio teen, adult boyfriend plead no contest in mother’s murder

Posted at 2:54 PM, June 4, 2024 and last updated 9:08 AM, June 4, 2024

TOLEDO, Ohio (Court TV) — An Ohio teenager and her adult boyfriend have pleaded no contest to murdering the man’s mother and fleeing the country.

Kaitlyn Coones, 18, and Jonathon Jones, 34, were charged for the April 2023 death of Nicole Jones, Jonathon’s mother.

defendants appear in court

Kaitlyn Coones and Jonathon Jones appear at their plea hearing Tuesday, June 4, 2024. (Court TV)

In court documents obtained by Court TV, prosecutors accused Coones of strangling Nicole and beating her with a rock on April 19, 2023. Following the murder, Coones and Jonathon cleaned the scene and disposed of Nicole’s body in a dumpster. Afterwards, the couple fled to Mexico, where they were arrested in May. Nicole’s body has not been found.

In April, attorneys for the defendants requested mental evaluations. Coones’ defense stated they believe she’s a victim of Jonathon and was experiencing “trauma bonding.”

In exchange for their pleas, prosecutors recommended sentences of life with parole eligibility after 25 years for each defendant, which the judge accepted. Prosecutors also dropped additional charges against each defendant.

At sentencing, prosecutors said Coones and Jonathon had been in an “illegal” relationship since she was sixteen, and the couple killed Nicole so they could be together.