• 64°

Aggravated murder charge sought

Adkins case goes back to grand jury next week.

The Lawrence County prosecutor is taking the murder case against a woman accused of fatally shooting her husband back to the grand jury.

Prosecutor Brigham Anderson said the case against Belinda S. Adkins would be going to the grand jury again next week.

“She has been indicted for murder and we are seeking an indictment for aggravated murder,” he said, adding that the reason for seeking an aggravated specification was because there was an “element of prior calculation and design.”

Adkins, 41, of South Point, is accused of shooting Joshua C. Jones multiple times around 4:30 p.m. on Jan. 23 in the parking lot of McDonald’s in South Point. Jones later died at a hospital of his injuries.

Anderson said that they would not be seeking the death penalty in this case.

“There are no aggravating circumstances in this case,” he said. Under Ohio Revised Code 2929.04, there are specific cases in which the death penalty can be sought, including if the murder is committed during a crime or while fleeing a crime, among many other possible offenses.

The Lawrence County Grand Jury had returned a single count of murder, with a firearm specification, against Adkins on Feb. 27.

After the shooting on Jan. 23, Adkins fled the scene but was identified as the suspected shooter later that day and a murder warrant was issued for her arrest.

Her car was found in Ironton on Jan. 24 but she wasn’t located until Jan. 25 when she went to an acquaintance’s house on Cedar Street in Burlington and asked them to call the sheriff’s office so she could turn herself in. She met the detectives at the end of the house’s driveway and was arrested without incident.

At the time of the shooting, Lawrence County Sheriff Jeff Lawless said that the shooting was an isolated, domestic violence-related incident.

Anderson said the couple had been married and that they had at least one child because a week prior to the shooting, they had been in domestic court for a child custody case.

Adkins is still being held in the Lawrence County Jail on a $1 million cash or surety bond.