Accused marked friend's death hours before attack

BLAIR ENSOR AND BEN HEATHER
Last updated 17:47 15/01/2013
Featherston homicide
PHIL REID/Fairfax NZ

CRIME SCENE: Forensic specialists at work at the Featherston units where a man was viciously beaten. He later died.

Kristofer Jones
MURRAY WILSON
Kristofer Jones, charged in relation to the death of a Featherston man, was arrested overnight and appeared in Palmerston North District Court this afternoon.

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The family of a Featherston man who died after a deadly pack attack say they are devastated "a piece of this family was taken from us".

In a short statement this evening the family said Glen Jones, 40, loved his family and friends and would be particularly missed by his nieces and nephews.

"He was part of the fabric of the Featherston community and lots of people looked out for him," the statement said. 

"We know that many people around town had a soft spot for 'Jonsey' and will sympathise with our grief. 

"The support we have received over the last few days has been overwhelming and we sincerely want to thank you all for that."

The family said they were "hugely grateful" to the large number of people who had contacted police with information.

ANOTHER MAN ARRESTED

Police have arrested another man in connection with the deadly group beating of Glen Jones.

Detective Inspector Sean Hansen said in a statement that armed police had arrested Kristofer Jones, 23, on State Highway 1 near Hunterville about 2am this morning.

Jones appeared in Palmerston North District Court this afternoon.

He entered no plea when he appeared in front of JP Ray Bensemann on a charge of aggravated burglary.

He was remanded in custody until January 18.

Jones was arrested by armed police overnight in Hunterville.

Police found the blue 1989 Mitsubishi Mirage he was believed to have been using in Levin late yesterday.

Hayden Ranson, 27, who was thought to be travelling with Jones, remained on the run and police advised members of the public not to approach him and call police immediately.

Glen Jones, 40, who is not related to Kristofer, died of head injuries suffered in a beating in his Featherston home shortly after midnight on Saturday morning.

The people allegedly involved in the attack were gathering to mark the anniversary of a friend's death.

Arrest warrants were issued for Jones and Ranson yesterday, after three co-accused appeared at Masterton District Court on charges of aggravated burglary.

They were charged with entering Mr Jones' home with a wooden bat and an axe handle.

Police are also speaking to three other people, but it was not known whether they would be charged.

Kristofer Jones is a former partner of Aimee Wilson, who died after a car she was a passenger in crashed north of Masterton shortly before midnight on January 12, 2011. The couple had a child together.

It is understood a number of people charged in connection with Mr Jones' death were gathering to remember Ms Wilson, who was killed two years to the day before Mr Jones' beating.

A Masterton neighbour of one of the females accused said that she arrived home about 9.30pm on Friday to find there was a gathering at a Solway address.

A white Holden Commodore which police have linked to the attack was parked in the driveway.

There was a large group of people "drinking and laughing" sitting in deck chairs at the back of property, the neighbour said.

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The neighbour has since seen police officers visit the home and remove items in brown paper bags.

On Saturday morning, Kristofer Jones posted on Facebook that he was "still feeling a lil drunk from last night" and organised to meet friends involved in a memorial gathering at the car park of McDonald's in Masterton.

A year earlier a large convoy had gathered in Ms Wilson's memory before driving to the site of her death in Mikimiki Rd.

It is understood children who lived at the address are now staying with their grandmother down the street.

The grandmother said she was struggling to come to terms with the arrests and refused to comment further.

Detective Inspector Sean Hansen yesterday said despite sharing a surname, Kristofer Jones was not related to the victim.

Police were still working to determine any links between the victim and his alleged attackers.

More charges would probably follow in relation to Mr Jones' death, Mr Hansen said.

"We had a man killed in his home and there is all likelihood that further charges are likely."

Police have also recovered several objects linked to Mr Jones' death from a Lower Hutt industrial site.

Investigators are still looking for sightings of the white Holden Commodore linked to the death, which travelled through the Wairarapa, Hutt Valley and Wellington during the weekend.

The three who appeared in court yesterday - two women aged 22 and 32 as well as a 28-year-old man - were remanded in custody until later this week. All three have name suppression.

- The Dominion Post

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