Jones trial verdict

Mark Hofmann | Herald-Standard

Dominique Jones, 28, is led away in handcuffs from a Fayette County courtroom after being convicted of third-degree murder Monday in the stabbing death of Tre McCargo.

A Uniontown woman was convicted Monday of third-degree murder for fatally stabbing her children’s father in the neck.

A Fayette County jury deliberated for several hours before finding Dominique Jones, 28, guilty of killing Tre McCargo, 25, at the Holiday Inn Express in Uniontown on Dec. 25, 2018.

Assistant District Attorney Wendy O’Brien told jurors the defense spent so much time focusing on the abuse Jones alleged she suffered at McCargo’s hands that the proceeding felt as though McCargo, the victim, was on trial.

“Common sense plays a big role in this,” she said to the jury. “Search for the truth, not for doubt.”

Jones’ attorney, Paul Gettleman, asked jurors to recall his client’s testimony about the decades of physical, sexual and emotional abuse she said she had undergone, and criticized prosecutors for not investigating those claims.

Jones testified in her own defense that she stabbed McCargo after he assaulted her during an argument, but O’Brien argued Jones was asked five times if she was injured, and never complained of being so. It wasn’t until interviews with psychologists that Jones said McCargo assaulted her, O’Brien said.

“What we have here in this case is the evolution of Dominique Jones’ story,” O’Brien said. “It’s changed so drastically, you need to be concerned about it.”

O’Brien also argued that one of the witnesses to McCargo’s stabbing, the couple’s 9-year-old daughter, did not testify that her father assaulted her mother.

O’Brien said the daughter gave the most consistent and credible statements about what really happened.

The child testified last week that Jones was angry with McCargo, pointed a knife at him and stabbed him while he was on the ground in a defensive position.

“She (the daughter) has the motive to lie, but she didn’t,” O’Brien said, adding that the girl has lived with Jones’ family for the past year, and said during an interview that she wants to help her mother.

“Nothing that Dominique Jones told you about what happened in that hotel room can justify killing (McCargo),” O’Brien said. “Even if you believe everything that she says, there was no threat of eminent death or serious bodily injury.”

Following the verdict, Gettleman asked that the jury be polled, and all 12 jurors agreed with the verdict that included three counts of endangering the welfare of children.

Jones is scheduled to be sentenced before Judge Linda Cordaro at 1:30 p.m. Feb. 24.

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