Accused murderer pleads not guilty

Sequim woman to be back in court Dec. 12

PORT ANGELES — A Sequim woman accused of killing the daughter of a deceased man for whom she had been a caregiver pleaded not guilty Tuesday to all seven charges against her.

A trial date was tentatively set for Jan. 8 for Aline Jones, 44.

Jones remains in Clallam County jail in lieu of $500,000 bail on one count of second-degree murder, theft of a motor vehicle — both felonies — and five gross misdemeanors.

The body of Susan M. Ferrel, 65, of Nevada was found Oct. 26 at a Diamond Point home that belonged to her late father, Raymond Rhodes, according to a press release from the Clallam County Sheriff’s Office.

Jones had worked as a caretaker for Rhodes, who died Oct. 14 at the age of 93, according to the motion for determination of probable cause.

On Tuesday, defense attorney Doug Kresl, filling in for John Hayden, waived formal reading of the charges and entered the not guilty pleas on Jones’ behalf in Clallam County Superior Court.

He expected the case to be set out beyond the 60-day speedy trial limit, Kresl said.

Judge Simon Barnhart said he would set a speedy trial date with an outside date of Jan. 13, which could be addressed at future hearings.

Chief Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Michele Devlin proposed a Dec. 12 status hearing date, which Barnhart said worked for the court. She expected the trial to last three to four weeks.

Barnhart said, “I will set a trial date of Jan. 8, 2024. Given the complexity of this case, that date is very likely to be changed. We will have your case back on the court calendar on Dec. 12 at 9 a.m. to discuss status of the case.”

Jones was charged Nov. 1 in Clallam County Superior Court with second-degree murder with a deadly weapon enhancement and motor vehicle theft, both felonies. She also was charged with making false or misleading statements to a public servant, tampering with physical evidence — murder weapon, tampering with physical evidence — documents, tampering with physical evidence — clothing and removal or concealment of body, all gross misdemeanors.

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Reporter Brian Gawley can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 55650, or at brian.gawley@peninsuladailynews.com.

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