Ten year old Tiffany Nicole Long's body was found on October 17,1998. She had been murdered the day before. (Oct. 16, 1998)
Three black teenagers were charged with Tiffany's murder. They are Dorthia Bynum, 17, and Harold Jones, 16 and Joseph Jones 13 at the time. They were charged with luring the young girl into a vacant house, sodomizing her and then strangling her with a cable wire and then beating her to death with a board.
Dorthia Bynum told the police that she sat back and watched as the two Jones boys sexually assaulted Tiffany. One of the Jones boys choked Tiffany with a cable wire while the other raped her.
Joseph Jones had admitted to the sexual assault (rape) but that someone else named "Fatboy" had killed Tiffany.
Tiffany was last seen at approximately 4:30 p.m. on the 16th. When she failed to return home, her parents called police at about 8:20 p.m. that night.
Tiffany's body was found at a house around the corner from her home. The same house that the Jones boys had lived in just three weeks before Tiffany's murdered body was found there.
Tiffany's body was found in a pool of her own blood in the back yard of the house. Police had to break into the house since the doors and windows were all locked. Once inside they found blood all over the house. Police investigators determined that Tiffany had been raped and murdered in the bedroom of the house since that is where most of the blood had been found.
After being raped and murdered, Tiffany's lifeless body was dragged outside and hidden behind a garage and covered over with an afghan to hide it.
Police found the body at approximately 4:55 a.m. on October 17th.
Witnesses told police that the Jones boys had been seen around Tiffany's house and that they saw a boy with a green mountain bike with Tiffany heading into the backyard of the house where her body was found.
When police used a search warrant on the Joneses new residence, they found a .22 rifle barrel and stock, two love letters and the green bike that witnesses had identified.
After Tiffany had been raped and murdered and her body discovered, Joseph Jones told family members that he had heard the little Tiffany had been "choked with a cable wire", a detail the police had never released.
Harold Wesley Jones, 16, and Dorthia D. Bynum, 17, and a 13-year-old boy (Joseph Jones) each were charged with first-degree murder, sexual assault and kidnapping.
Relatives had claimed that the two teens (Harold Jones and Dorthia Bynum) were mildly retarded and incapable of killing little Tiffany.
``He cannot comprehend,'' sister and guardian Al-Neisa Jones, 23, said of Jones. ``He knows that killing is wrong. But that boy can't kill a bug.''
Claims of intimidation were leveled at police after Harold Jones and Dorthia Bynum went to the police station for an interview. Both had gone to the police under their own free will.
Bynum's mother contented that her daughter ``has always been slow ... a little mental'' but didn't pose a threat to anyone.
As usual, the race card was played and the prosecutor had to dismiss ideas of racism because the victim was White and the perpetrators were black.
The murder weapon was found and police discounted the idea that it was a nail studded 2x4.
The Jones family was, of course, playing the race card, which also comes with a poor pass, and claimed that "It's just depressing. We don't have top-of-the-line lawyers, top-of-the-line funds, to prove these three children are innocent" (Children my butt!)
Tiffany's grandmother made a statement at the police station.
``Tiffany was a very happy child who loved people and loved life,'' she said. ``I want everyone listening and watching to know that we loved Tiffany very much and miss Tiffany very much.
Joseph Jones was sentenced to life in prison plus 25 years for the crime. Joseph had this to say before being sentenced: "I pray to the Almighty. I stand before you expressing my sorrow, my sympathy."
Notice how he never admitted guilt.
Dorthia Bynum was sentenced to at least 124 years in prison as part of an agreement with prosecutors in which she pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, rape, kidnapping and first-degree sex offense.
Harold Jones was sentenced to Life plus 25-30 years for the rape and murder of little Tiffany.