Stockton authorities say that 37-year-old Devon Omar Epps killed his live-in girlfriend and placed her corpse in his apartment’s bathtub where it remained until being evicted in December of 2011. Soon after, the rotting body was discovered and Epps was arrested and charged with murder two days later.
A coroner’s report revealed that Veronica Jones was beaten with a metal table pedestal, raped, and stabbed 32 times. On Wednesday, a jury found Epps guilty of all charges, including premeditated murder, use of a weapon other than a firearm, murder by torture, corporal injury to a spouse and rape.
At Epps’ trial, Jones’ family members said they reported Jones missing in July 2011, a month after she mysteriously disappeared. Police, according to Jones’ brother, were largely unresponsive. “The only thing they told me is that it’s not a crime to be missing, that they have a right not to talk to family or friends, and she was basically not missing,” Jones’ brother, Issac Zuniga, said while on the witness stand.
The judge also ordered a mental evaluation for Epps because of his erratic behavior during part of the court proceedings. He will appear in court again Thursday for the sanity phase of his trial. Victor, another of brother of Jones, says Epps’ behavior was all an act.
“He was playing a game, acting like he was crazy so he wouldn’t have to pay for the torture he put her through.