Jurors in a Stockton, Calif., courtroom were shown graphic images of a woman’s decomposing body Friday and told by a prosecutor that the woman, 35-year-old Veronica Jones died a brutal death. The defendant, Jones’s boyfriend Devon Epps, is accused of raping and killing her, and then living with her dead body for several months. Deputy District Attorney Thomas Testa told the jurors that Epps beat Jones with a metal table leg, stabbed her 32 times and raped her with a foreign object.
After Jones was last heard from on June 2 of last year, her worried family reported her missing. When police went to the apartment Jones and Epps shared to check on her, they did not enter the residence. Jones’s body was not found until December. “The only thing they told me is that it’s not a crime to be missing, that they have a right not to talk to family or friends, and she was basically not missing,” said Jones’s brother, Isaac Zuniga.