Louis Jones Jr.

Louis Jones Jr., a 44-year old Black retired U.S. Army veteran, kidnapped, raped, and murdered Tracie Joy McBride, a 19-year old white U.S. Air Force private on February 18, 1995.

McBride, who was stationed at Goodfellow Air Base in San Angelo, Texas, was kidnapped from the base laundry, driven to Jones’ home, raped, and driven to a remote area in Coke County where she was beaten to death.

Jones, a decorated 22-year Army veteran, was arrested on March 1, 1995, on charges related to the beating of his ex-wife. Under questioning by Air Force investigators, Jones confessed to killing McBride.

Because the abduction occurred on a military base, Jones was tried in federal court in Lubbock, Texas, in October 1995. Considerable physical evidence and his own confession implicated Jones. In his defense, he emphasized childhood trauma related to physical and sexual abuse as well as combat-related trauma. He was convicted on October 23 and sentenced to death.

On appeal, his defense continued to emphasize the trauma Jones had experienced, including nerve gas exposure and Gulf War Syndrome.

In 1999, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected Jones’ appeal. In 2003, President George W. Bush rejected his clemency petition and the Supreme Court rejected his final appeal.

Louis Jones Jr. was executed at the federal prison in Terre Haute, Indiana, on March 18, 2003.

Author: Bill Lofquist

I am a sociologist and death penalty scholar at the State University of New York at Geneseo. I am also a Pittsburgh native. My present research focuses on the history of the death penalty in Allegheny County (Pittsburgh), Pa. This website is dedicated to collecting, analyzing, and sharing information about all Allegheny County cases in which a death sentence was imposed. Please share any questions or comments, errors or omissions, or other matters of interest related to these cases or to the broader history of the death penalty in Allegheny County.

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