Herschel Jones sentenced to life in prison for killing Danville police officer

Herschel Ray Jones III entered not guilty pleas to all charges which attorneys say is standard practice for capital murder cases.

MOUNT VERNON, OH (WCMH) — Herschel Ray Jones III has changed his plea to guilty to three charges related to the death of Danvile Police Officer Thomas Cottrell Jr.

Officials say Jones pleaded guilty to three of the 17 counts against him. He was sentenced to life in prison, plus 35 years. He is not eligible for parole.

On January 17, 2016, Knox County dispatch center received a call stating that police officers in Danville were in danger. The woman told dispatchers that her ex-boyfriend, Jones had left with weapons and was looking to kill an officer.

Dispatchers then tried to contact the Danville officer on duty, but were unsuccessful. Deputies from the Sheriff’s Office then searched the village.

Shortly before midnight, deputies found the body of Officer Thomas Cottrell on the ground behind the municipal building. His gun had been taken and his cruiser was missing.

Investigators say Jones was seen running from a residence on East Washington Street around 1:36 a.m. Monday. After a foot chase, Jones was taken into custody.

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