Trial of suspected serial killer could go to Brevard Co. jury next week



BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. - A suspected serial killer was back in a Brevard County courtroom Friday, cross-examining witnesses in his own trial.

Henry Lee Jones is already awaiting execution on Tennessee's death row.

Now, Florida prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for the 2003 murder of 19-year-old Carlos Perez.

Much of the testimony in the case Friday came from another case in which investigators said Jones is the suspect.

Keith Gross was slain in 2002 in south Florida. Prosecutors said Jones is the prime suspect in that case.

Fort Lauderdale Police detective described in court the scene when the body of Gross was discovered.

"Devastating, the worst, the worst injuries I've seen in my 30-year career," said Detective Mark Shotwell.

According to investigators, Gross was hogtied, sexually assaulted and nearly decapitated.

Investigators said Jones was an acquaintance of Gross.

Police found the body of Perez in a Melbourne motel room.

Investigators said he was bound and his throat was cut. He too knew Jones.

According to investigators, Perez was killed within days of a double homicide in Tennessee.

Clarence and Lillian James were tied up and stabbed to death within a mile of Jones' former residence.

The couple's slayings put Jones on Tennessee's death row.

For Florida prosecutors, there were too many similarities in the cases, not to bring them all into evidence.

"It's a very unique, just a very special way that these crimes were committed, and under the law that allows the jury, as far as determining the identity of someone who committed these crimes, that allows the jury to hear these other cases," said prosecutor Russ Bausch.

Jones has never been charged in the death of Gross. Gross' father testified in court Friday. "The survivors of the homicides here in Florida, they deserve their day in court, they deserve their case heard," said Bausch.

Jones, who's acting as his own attorney, didn't cross-examine a number of witnesses.

Prosecutors think they may get to closing arguments by Monday.