Officials stunned at felon’s backroom housing deal
Former Northumberland County deputy and high school resource officer Derek Jones was sentenced to four years in the penitentiary Feb 21. By Feb. 28 rumors were rife that arrangements had been made for him to spend his incarceration in his home county—Lancaster’s jail rather than state prison.
Friday, Northumberland County sheriff, C.A. Wilkins, said that although the case fell within his purview, nobody had contacted him about any arrangements to keep Jones close to home. Because Jones had worked for Wilkins, once Jones was charged with the nine felonies involving sex with minors, Wilkins had stood away from the case and arranged Jones’ pre-trial jailing in Lancaster. By the end of the day, Wilkins had asserted his control of the matter. Whatever arrangements had been made were cancelled and Jones was scheduled to go into the system like any other convict, Wilkins said Friday evening.
Westmoreland County commonwealths attorney Julia Sichol, who had prosecuted the case when Northumberland County commonweaths attorney Jane Wrightson recused herself, said nobody had contacted her but she had heard about the arrangements and wasn’t happy with them.
Jones attorney, Charles McKerns, Jr., refused to talk about the matter and said “I will neither confirm nor deny” that the arrangements had been made.
Nobody was talking about who was actually involved in the arrangement that Wilkins quashed.