Jones faces charges in Hiltner's death

This article submitted by Linda Stelling on 1/7/97.

Charges were filed against Jamison Jones, Willmar, in Kandiyohi District Court on Dec. 12, 1996. Jones is charged with three counts of vehicular homicide in the death of Jon Hiltner, Paynesville, on April 7, 1996. Jones will appear in court on Feb. 7 at 1:15 p.m. If sentenced, he could receive up to 10 years in prison or pay a fine of not more than $20,000 per criminal count.

According to the complaint, the accident occurred on April 7 at 1:43 a.m. The Kandiyohi County Sheriffís Department was called to the scene at 155th Avenue, near Hawick, by Jerry Hoekstra. In the report, Hoekstra said Jones walked up to his house and told him to call 911. Hoekstra followed Jones back to the accident scene where he found Hiltner, lying on the ground with the top part of his head slightly under the car. He ran back to the house and grabbed a blanket for Hiltner.

Hoekstra said in the complaint that at first Hiltner took a breath every 15 seconds, but then it became very short and it stopped before the ambulance arrived. Hiltner was dead on arrival at the hospital. According to the complaint, it appeared the vehicle left the road and hit a support cable on a telephone pole. The car rolled, leaving debris in its path. Deputy Allen Anderson found several empty beer boxes, empty beer cans, broken bottles of beer, and full beer cans in the car. The air bag had opened on the driverís side. There was an impression of blood on the left side of the air bag. The blood was tested and found to be Jonesí blood. There were no keys in the ignition. Neither the driverís or passengerís seat belts had been used.

At the Paynesville Area Hospital, an employee told Deputy Anderson a set of keys had fallen onto the floor off the cot upon which Hiltner was lying. The key chain had Jonesí identification card attached.

Detective Tony Cruze interviewed Jones at the hospital on the night of the accident. Jones said Hiltner was driving the car. He swerved to miss a deer and lost control.

According to the complaint, Dr. Youngs told Detective Cruze that due to the extent of Hiltnerís injuries, it was highly unlikely he took the keys out of the ignition, placed them in his pocket or clothing, got out of the driverís seat, walked around the car, and laid down with his head under the car.

Jonesí blood was drawn at the Paynesville Area Hospital and tested at the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. Jones had a blood alcohol concentration of .16. Jones was treated for minor cuts the night of the accident and released.

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