Dayton Jones sentenced to eight years in federal court

Dayton Jones was sentenced in federal court Tuesday to eight years in prison for charges related to the October, 2014 sexual assault of an unconscious 15-year old male at a party on Lafayette Road.

Jones entered a guilty plea to one count of production of child pornography in October as part of a plea deal that came with a recommended 10-year sentence. Investigators say Jones recorded the assault that left the victim with life-threatening injuries and that he posted it on social media.

The Herald Leader notes in an article that the eight-year sentence that Senior U.S. Judge Thomas B. Russell imposed was in line with the full 10-year sentence, as Jones has been incarcerated since he was charged in federal court, but with no credit for his state prison time already served.

The paper quotes U.S. Attorney Jo Lawless in saying the government agreed to recommend a sentence under the federal minimum of 15 years last year after Jones gave authorities information about drug activity in jail and additional information about the 2014 assault case that helped fill in blanks for police.

No new charges came from the information Jones provided, according to the report.

Jones accepted a plea deal in 2016 in Christian Circuit Court that included a 10-year sentence for one count of first-degree sodomy, four years for one count of first-degree wanton endangerment and a year for a charge relating to the video recording. The sentences were set to run consecutively for a total of 15 years, but former Governor Matt Bevin commuted his sentence to time served on the final day of his administration.

The Herald Leader also notes Jones sent a long letter to Judge Russell prior to sentencing, saying a “dark cloud” hangs over his mood due to the events from 2014.

He reportedly said he and his codefendants had played pranks on the victim, but claimed he did not take part in the actual assault. The paperwork for his federal plea deal, however, referenced his state plea where Jones pled guilty to his role in sodomizing the victim with a sex toy.

Jones’ three co-defendants—Colton Cavanaugh, Tyler Perry and Sam Miller—also accepted plea deals in circuit court and they did not receive any relief of their sentences from former Governor Bevin.