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Woman charged in 1 of 4 Nebraska killings pleads not guilty

HARTINGTON, Neb. (AP) — A woman has pleaded not guilty in the death of one of four people who were killed in a small northeast Nebraska town last year.

Carrie Jones, 44, of Laurel entered written not guilty pleas this week to first-degree murder, being an accessory to a felony and tampering with evidence, according to court records.

Jones’ husband, 43-year-old Jason Jones, has pleaded not guilty to four counts each of first-degree murder and use of a firearm to commit a felony, plus two counts of first-degree arson.

Carrie Jones is charged in the death of Gene Twiford, 86, in Laurel, on Aug. 4, 2022. Her husband is charged with killing Twiford, his wife and his daughter and another Laurel woman and setting fire to the victims’ homes.

Prosecutors allege Carrie Jones encouraged her husband to confront Twiford, who she said had been making sexually charged comments to her for years, and then helped him hide when he was being sought by police.

Testimony at an earlier hearing revealed that the Joneses did not have a specific conflict with Ebeling and her fiance, Brian Welch, but thought the couple was odd.

Carrie Jones is scheduled to be arraigned May 22 in Cedar County District Court, the Norfolk Daily News reported.

Carrie and James Jones remain jailed. They are scheduled to appear in court on July 24.