PORT ANGELES — A woman accused of killing a Nevada resident is scheduled to be in court Wednesday to face formal charges that may include second-degree murder.
Aline Jones, 44, of Sequim, also known as Aline Wittekind, was being held Monday in the Clallam County jail in lieu of $500,000 bail. She was being held on investigation of second-degree murder, removal or concealment of a body, motor vehicle theft, tampering with evidence and making false statements to law enforcement, according to the Clallam County Sheriff’s Office.
Prosecuting attorney Michele Devlin said Monday the bail amount was requested based upon the violent nature of the alleged offense, the possibility of Jones fleeing the area and her interference with the case.
“What gives us the greatest pause here is the tampering with evidence,” Devlin said.
Clallam County Superior Court Judge Brent Basden said the $500,000 bail was appropriate based upon concerns about Jones appearing in court.
“While towards the end of the investigation, she appears to have cooperated, much of the probable cause statement suggests she was not cooperative, including the actions taken with evidence in this case,” he said.
“More importantly, the court is concerned about the danger for her to commit a violent crime. Given the violent nature of the alleged crime, the court does not believe there are less restrictive means to address those dangers to the community.”
Although Jones does not have a substantial criminal record, Basden said the nature of the allegation causes the court to be more concerned about the present.
According to the probable cause statement from the sheriff’s office, deputies were dispatched at 7:40 p.m. Thursday to the 300 block of North Street in Diamond Point to check on the welfare of Susan M. Ferrel, 65, of Nevada, who had recently traveled to Sequim following the death of her father.
A deputy arrived to find Ferrel deceased on the ground between the house and a motorhome parked along the edge of the property and the roadway, the statement said.
During the initial investigation, detectives discovered Ferrel had rented a car that was missing.
Jones had been the caretaker for Ferrel’s father, Raymond Rhodes, who recently died.
Jones arrived at the home at about 9:45 p.m. Thursday and told a detective she had been there at about 11:45 a.m. that day to clean it. Then she left about noon to go to work.
Ferrel’s purse, which included her Nevada driver’s license, was located in a ditch along the Olympic Discovery Trail, the statement said.
Detectives later learned that Rhodes had filed a quit claim deed for the property to Jones and her ex-boyfriend, Clinton Jones.
At 11:45 a.m., Clinton Jones called dispatchers to say that his ex-girlfriend had called and admitted she killed a woman named Susie with a hammer, according to the probable cause statement.
At about 12:15 p.m., a sheriff’s detective called Aline Jones, the statement said.
“Jones began blurting out that she had lied during her original statement to Detective (Brandon) Stoppani. She spontaneously stated that she and Susan got into a ‘bad fight.’ She said that Susan had discovered documents regarding the house in Raymond’s belongings. Jones said during the fight, she had killed Susan with a hammer,” according to the probable cause statement.
Jones said during a subsequent interview that she had only known Ferrel for a week and had been visiting the house daily to clean.
Ferrel was upstairs cleaning when she found a deed to the house and Rhodes’ living will and yelled for Jones, the probable cause statement read. Ferrel had found out Rhodes had put the house in Jones’ name, the statement said.
“Jones said that the house had been hers for a while and that Raymond loved her like a daughter and she loved him like a father,” according to the statement.
Jones then went to work, returned to the house and cut the will and house deed into tiny pieces, the statement said.
Then she took the rental car, drove west from Diamond Point Road toward Sequim and threw the double-bagged hammer and screwdriver and the shredded documents along the highway before abandoning the car, later disposing of Ferrel’s purse and car fob, the statement read.
After Jones returned to the house, she dragged Ferrel’s body out of the house and rolled it off the roof, then put a concrete block near the body’s head to make it appear that Ferrel had fallen off the elevated patio, the statement read.
Reporter Brian Gawley can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 55650, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.