Updated: 3:56 p.m. Tuesday, April 16, 2013 | Posted: 11:46 a.m. Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Man pleads not guilty in death penalty case

By Katie Wedell

Staff Writer


A man who could face the death penalty if convicted of a double homicide pleaded not guilty to the crimes in court Tuesday.

Harvey Lee Jones was arraigned via video in Montgomery County Common Pleas Court on 14 felony counts. They include aggravated murder, kidnapping, aggravated burglary, aggravated robbery and having weapons under disability.

His bond has been set at $3 million.

He is accused of killing Carly Hughley, 32 and Demetrius “Brandon” Beckwith, 29, in Hughley’s Harrison Twp. apartment in January. Both leave behind children. Hugley’s 10-year-old son witnessed the killings. Beckwith had a 4-year-old son with his fiance of a year.

Beckwith’s family was present in the courtroom Tuesday and spoke exclusively with the Dayton Daily News and WHIO-TV afterwards.

Ronda and Dedra Beckwith, Brandon’s mother and sister, said it was very hard to sit in the courtroom and hear Jones’ plea.

“I dreaded every minute of it,” Ronda Beckwith said. Her daughter said the family is just waiting for justice to be served.

“I just wanted to lash out, but I know that’s not going to solve anything,” said Dedra Beckwith. “Nothing is going to bring him back.”

The family declined to comment on the facts of the case or the decision by Montgomery County Prosecutor Mat Heck last week to pursue the death penalty.

Jones — a convicted sex offender who was released from prison in March of 2012 — may have had a previous relationship with Hughley, according to police, but a precise motive for the killings has not been divulged.

Prosecutors allege that Jones shot the pair at about 1 a.m. on Jan. 24 while her son hid upstairs.

The boy was able to escape the apartment and called 911 from a neighbor’s residence. Police said he identified Jones by name and described the vehicle that he drives.

Several hours later, police found Jones and his vehicle on Homewood Drive in Dayton and took him into custody.

“There’s not a day that’s went by that I haven’t cried,” Ronda Beckwith said. “My heart aches for my son.”

His family described Beckwith as, “full of life and love and laughter.”

His fiance Tiffani Jackson said the whole family is blessed to have his son in their lives because, “he’s the spitting image of his father and his personality as well.” She said the boy is doing well, but understands that his father is not coming back.


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