‘I’ve never been in that crib, period’: Day 4 of double murder trial wraps in Evansville

Jury shown Arthur Jones’ initial interview with police
Day 4 of double murder trial in the books
Published: Nov. 16, 2023 at 7:14 PM CST
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - We are continuing to follow the double murder trial in Evansville where Arthur Jones is accused of killing Derek Johnson and Samantha Robbins back in 2021.

Similar to the previous three days, the jury was subjected to hours of testimony while the Honorable Leslie Shively watched from the bench.

All five testimonies today came from detectives and investigators who have spent time with this particular case.

Going over details of the case, like what law enforcement believes Jones threw in the trash after the murders occurred to what the data from nearby cell towers told them about his movements on and after December 19, 2021, the prosecution continued to build their case against him.

After lunch, the State recalled one of the detectives heavily involved in this case, including doing the interview with Jones after he was arrested by the Evansville Police Department’s Street Crimes Unit.

Kicking off just before 2:30, the jury along with the defendant and members of the crowd gathered along the wall to watch as two hour video recorded on the same day as the murders, December 19, got underway.

Jones enters the screen wearing a red sock hat and jacket. He’s left alone in the interrogation room with Christmas music playing in the background.

When the video cuts back to the detective entering the room, they immediately begin recounting Jones’ steps over the previous day.

He’s visibly frustrated in the video, wondering why he was picked up in the first place in front of his parents and brought in.

The detective jumps right into the questioning, asking about where he works and trying to get a timeline together of the hours leading up to the murders.

Jones explains that he works at Berry Plastics but didn’t go in that day because his daughter was sick, spinning a timeline that the detective then proceeded to scrutinize, pointing out inconsistencies as they moved along.

Moving away from the timeline portion, the detective then begins to question Jones about Derek Johnson and Samantha Robbins, the victims in this case.

Jones refers to Johnson as his “cousin,” telling the detective that he was basically family while sticking to his story that he didn’t know Samantha well.

When the detective pried about the events that had occurred just a few hours ago, Jones said he hadn’t talked to anybody and wasn’t sure what the officer was talking about.

Finally, the officer explains that Johnson was killed in the early hours of that morning, and Jones replies with, “I love him, so I grieve for his mother because I’ve known him since I was a kid.”

As the video played out, Johnson’s mother as well as other friends and family of the victims watched on, occasionally comforting one another and periodically leaving the court room before returning. Jones sat quietly, whispering to his attorney every few minutes.

As the interview continues, another detective joins Jones in the room and they continue to circle back to his previous statements and point out inaccuracies and inconsistencies while Jones changed his story multiple times. On certain occasions, specifically when it came to whether or not he had ever been inside of Johnson’s home or if his children knew him, Jones would double and triple-back on his first statement.

At one point Jones says, “I’ve never been in that crib, period.”

Two big stipulations surrounding this case are the murder weapon and Jones’ cellphone, both of which were never recovered.

Jones gave the detectives four separate phone numbers throughout the course of their conversation, often denying which was his primary before reading back the same number to detectives they had just asked him about.

Jones denied owning any guns, but the detectives continued to circle back on him, accusing him of being involved in the shooting.

At one point, Jones says, “it’s a murder case, you got to have a pistol.”

The detective responds with, “who says we’ve got to have a pistol? I never even said he was shot.”

In all, Jones denied being involved whatsoever with the murders, even going so far as to say, “your job is to find the man who did this.”

The detectives in the room responding with a matter-of-fact, “we did.”

As the interview nears the end, the detectives explain that Jones will be going to jail for murder, to which he responds, “it is what it is. I’ll sit there and do pushups for a couple months.”

At the conclusion of the video, the prosecution and defense went back and forth, asking questions of the detective in the video who began the interview. After answering the questions from each side and the jury, day four of trial adjourned just after 5:00 p.m.

Day five will get underway Friday morning at 8 a.m.