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Fisherman beaten to death in 2012

Two men who had been arraigned last year on murder charges in the May 29, 2012, beating death of a fisherman in Warm Springs, were sentenced June 11 to 24 years in prison.

James Ryan Jones, 32, and Steven Neal Anderson, 24, both of Warm Springs, pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter and first-degree kidnapping in the death of Dennis Jones near Mecca Flats.

by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - James Ryan JohnsonAccording to District Attorney Steve Leriche, who represented the state, the two men admitted their guilt, and apologized to the family of Jones for their actions. Alcohol was a factor in the crime. Johnson was represented by Thomas M. Spear Jr., and Anderson, by Dave C. Glenn.

Jones' body was discovered in a railroad tunnel by a man from Klamath Falls, who was on a fishing trip and accompanied by his 14-year-old daughter and her friend.

The man noticed blood outside the 100-year-old tunnel and peered in, spotting Jones' body, about 20 yards from the north entrance.

by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Steven Neal AndersonInvestigators from the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office and Warm Springs Police Department learned that the victim had been camping at the Mecca Flat Campground, and that his vehicle was missing. He appeared to have been subjected to blunt force trauma, according to the arrest affadavits.

Police located Jones' vehicle on May 31, 2012, at a residence in the Simnasho area, and Johnson and Anderson were arrested when they got into the vehicle and attempted to leave.

The two men were reported to have been hanging around the victim's campsite, which had been reserved through May 30.

Circuit Court Judge Annette Hillman sentenced the two men to 24 years in prison without the possibility of early release, as the result of a settlement conference.

"Mr. Dennis Jones, originally of Portland, was much beloved by his family, and his three brothers, his sister and mother travelled from Portland to Madras for the hearing," Leriche noted in a press release. "Mr. Jones’ family supported the resolution."

Leriche thanked the JCSO, Warm Springs Police Department, Oregon State Police, Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office, Oregon State Police Crime Lab, and the Oregon State Medical Examiner’s Office "for their tireless work and professional investigation which resulted in the apprehension of the defendants within two days of the homicide and ultimately these convictions."

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