Julius Jones’ co-defendant admitted in prison to Paul Howell slaying, inmate says

Christopher Jordan, Julius Jones’ co-defendant in the 1999 slaying of Edmond businessman Paul Howell, admitted in prison to killing Howell and letting Jones take the fall for crime, according to an inmate who served time in an Arkansas prison with Jordan.

The revelation was made last year in a series of letters and video interviews between Arkansas inmate Roderick Wesley and Jones’ attorneys, who are seeking to free Jones, or at least remove him from Oklahoma’s death row.

Wesley, who is serving a 50-year sentence for aggravated robbery in Arkansas, sent his first letter to Jones’ defense team on July 15, 2020, after watching a documentary about Jones on television and recognizing Jordan.

In the letter, he said that in 2009 or 2010 Jordan told him “my co-defendant is on death row behind a murder I committed,” Wesley wrote in a letter to Amanda Bass, one of Jones’ attorneys.

“At the time I didn’t think much of it, I can even recall him making statements such as ‘I’ll fuck you up like I did that man,’” Wesley wrote in the letter. “This occurred when we would be on the basketball court and things would get heated.”

It wasn’t until the summer of 2020, when Wesley was with other prison inmates watching television, that he saw the documentary on Julius Jones’ case — “The Last Defense” — and put two-and-two together.

In the documentary he saw footage of a young Jordan, clad in a jumpsuit, walking to his trial.

He recognized him instantly. Wesley said he had worked with Jordan in the commissary at the East Arkansas Regional Unit, a prison in Brickeys, an unincorporated town in eastern Arkansas that sits less than an hour from the state line.

Wesley said it was “between summer and fall” in 2009 when he and Jordan were talking about their cases.

“One day we’re sitting there, I’m telling him about my situation, he pretty much told me about his because at the time I didnt even know he had the murder charge,” Wesley told Jones’ attorneys Rebecca Postyeni and Dale Baich in a recorded interview that was provided to The Frontier. “So it was pretty much like I guess you could say at the time (he was) being sorta remorseful. But it was one of those cases where (he was like) ‘I’m sorry but I’m not gonna just jump out there and throw myself to the wolves.’”

Oklahoma prison records don’t show Jordan as having spent time in Arkansas as an inmate, and Arkansas prison officials did not immediately respond to request for comment from The Frontier. But court records show Jordan was granted the ability to serve his sentence out of state on what’s known as an “interstate prisoner transfer,” which allows high-risk inmates to serve their prison sentences elsewhere.

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