Indiana Man Convicted Of Murdering Girlfriend In Her Friend’s Bathtub After Abusing Her
An Indiana man has been convicted of murdering his former girlfriend in her friend’s bathtub after months of abusing her.
Jordon Knudson, 37, was found guilty of brutally murdering Kristina Jones, 36, by a Ripley County jury, which took just over two hours to decide, according to Fox 19 Now. Knudson was accused of physically abusing Jones during the course of their two-year relationship, prompting Jones to occasionally stay at the friend’s house where her body was found, per a probable cause affidavit obtained by the Greensburg Daily News.
Just after midnight on Jan. 11, 2021, the friend, Rodney McEvoy, walked into his Holton, Indiana home to find Jones face-up in his bathtub and covered in blood. It was later determined that she was shot multiple times in the head with a shotgun.
McEvoy raced on foot to his parents’ nearby home, alerting his mother, Marilee McEvoy, to the grisly discovery. Marilee — a nurse — went to her son’s house and called authorities before attempting to perform life-saving measures on Jones.
“I was just hoping I could breathe some life into her,” Marilee told The Osgood Journal. “But it couldn’t be done.”
Jones was pronounced dead when responders arrived.
Rodney McEvoy — who’d been friends with Jones for years — told investigators with the Indiana State Police that Jones sometimes stayed at his residence because she was afraid of her boyfriend, Jordan Knudson.
Knudson claimed that he'd last seen Jones on the afternoon of Jan. 9, 2021, after he dropped her off at the Holton Food Mart to wait for a friend to end her shift, according to the Daily News.
That friend told detectives she received a call from Jones on her work phone at around 5:11 p.m. that day. The friend said that Jones asked her to come outside, where Jones had hidden in the backseat of the friend’s SUV with the doors locked. Jones told the friend she was afraid of Knudson.
A customer overheard the women’s conversation and offered to drive Jones to Rodney McEvoy’s house.
Jones was last seen by a friend at McEvoy’s residence on Jan. 10 at around 9:30 p.m. — less than three hours before McEvoy found her body.
Authorities determined that Jones was killed with a Mossberg 500 .410 pump shotgun — the same kind of gun that had been gifted to Knudson by his parents the previous year, according to the Daily News. Knudsen’s father stated he learned the shotgun was missing from the residence on Jan. 11.
Knudson admitted to authorities that he had owned a sawed-off .410, but claimed he'd sold it. Knudson also insisted it was not the same weapon used to kill Kristina Jones.
On Jan. 19, the Indiana State Police received an anonymous letter from someone who claimed to be in possession of the gun, per the affidavit. Authorities tested a fingerprint found on the letter, which traced back to Knudson.
Knudson was arrested for murder on March 26, 2021, according to The Journal.
During the trial’s opening statements, prosecutor Ric Hertel claimed Jones was gunned down in McEvoy’s bathtub just hours after she'd had dinner with the husband from which she'd been separated and the couple's two children.
Hertel showed the court that Knudson “blew up her phone,” calling Jones 20 times and texting her 21 times just before the murder. He alleged that Knudson pointed the shotgun in her face and shot her three times as she lay in a bathtub.
Prosecutors also revealed a Facebook post from Dec. 11, 2020 — just before Jones filed for a restraining order — in which Knudson wrote, “Hope you die, evil, lying, cheating, b****, die.” The next day, Knudson allegedly burned Jones’s belongings on the side of a road.
Jones had filed for a restraining order against Knudson in Ripley County on Dec. 15, 2020, according to the Journal — the same day she was admitted to the St. Vincent Jennings Co. Hospital complaining of head pain.
“He hits me in the head ‘cause it doesn’t bruise as bad,” Jones reportedly told medical personnel.
Jones reported several occasions when Knudson caused her to blackout, and friends claimed they had previously tried to get Jones to seek medical attention for a “severe arm wound” purportedly caused by Knudson, according to the Journal.
Authorities with the Ripley County Sheriff’s Office tried to serve Knudson with the restraning order on several occasions before Jones' murder, but to no avail.
“He was aware of it,” said Sheriff Jeff Cumberworth. “But we could never make contact with him.”
Knudson is scheduled to appear for sentencing in June, according to Fox 19 Now.