Milton Bernard JonesBirth: February 27, 1982
Death: August 16, 2011
No obituary found.
Father of four children
Mother: Patricia Johnson
Sister: Keisha Jones
Joshua Gauntt - 2014
The family of 29-year-old Milton Jones said they think the City of Dothan and its police force should be featured on the television show “First 48.”
Keisha Jones and her mother, Patricia Johnson, said the quick work by investigators in making an arrest in the slaying of their loved one merits a spot on the A&E television show about the importance of the first 48 hours of a murder investigation.
“For them to do it so quickly, it lets us know our police department cares,” said Keisha Jones, Milton Jones’ sister. “I feel like without them being as dedicated as they were, the crime would not have been solved. I feel like the City of Dothan should be on ‘First 48.’ They did better than what I see on TV.”
Dothan Police Maj. Steve Parrish announced Thursday the arrest of 48-year-old Gregory Leon Lawton on a capital murder charge in the shooting death of Jones.
Parrish said police believe Jones was likely killed sometime Monday, but was not found until Tuesday morning. He said police found Jones slumped over on the floorboard of his car, which was left parked on Leila Drive near Alexander Drive in Ford Country.
“Investigators worked tirelessly. We had quite a few calls that came in, and that certainly helped,” Parrish said. “We pull everybody in and everybody works on one case because for every hour that goes by after a crime is committed, the case gets colder and colder. This has been a round the clock investigation.”
Parrish said the shooting happened in the yard of Lawton’s mother’s residence on LaGrand Drive. Police say after Jones suffered a single gunshot wound to the head, he was placed in his own vehicle and driven to Leila Drive.
Parrish said police believe a high-powered rifle was used in the killing, which he said has not been found. He also said police served at least three search warrants during the murder inquiry, including one at the LaGrand home.
“The nature of the crime was very violent,” Parrish said. “Investigators tend to believe it may be drug related. Both parties have a criminal history, and Lawton is a career criminal.”
Parrish said police were assisted by the FBI and the state Department of Forensic Sciences. He also said police have not ruled out additional arrests and charges being filed in the ongoing investigation.
Lawton will be taken to the Houston County Jail and held without bail on the capital murder charge. According to Brian Corbett, with the state Department of Corrections, Lawton was released in June after being paroled on a life sentence for armed robbery. Corbett said in an email that Lawton also served time in prison for burglary and receiving stolen property. Lawton had served 26 years in prison when he was released in June.
Patricia Johnson, Jones’ mother, said how quickly an arrest was made in her son’s killing brought the family some relief and closure.
“My son was just a loving family man,” Johnson said of the father of four. “My son did not deserve this. That’s what’s so devastating to me, that he brutalized him so bad we can’t even show the body (at the funeral).”
Johnson said her son knew his alleged assailant, and even played cards with him on occasion.
Kenny Glasgow, the pastor at a local ministry called the Ordinary People’s Society (TOPS), said he knew both Jones and Lawton, but he knew Jones more closely. Glasgow said he knew Jones as “Lil Milt.”
“Milton Jones was very, very dear to me,” Glasgow said. “He ministered to me when I was on drugs over 15 years ago, before I went to prison. He helped me with my drug problem when I was on crack cocaine, and I’ll never forget it.”
Glasgow said Jones inspired him to get involved in the ministry. Glasgow recalled how he last saw Jones at the TOPS ministry only a few days before Jones' death.
“He’s one of the two young men that inspired me to do what I’m doing in the community with my ministry now,” Glasgow said. “One of the main things about Lil Milt is he wanted people to come together and unify.”
“Here recently he was really, really just about his family and his kids. What’s so alarming is when young men that are trying to get their life right and can’t get jobs and can’t get help it leaves them vulnerable to something like this happening to them. Now we have two young men’s lives that are over.”