Suspect Pleads Not Guilty in Teen’s Murder, Bond Set
Lloyd Jones, 36, of Lavaca, was formally arraigned on a first degree murder charge in the death of a 16-year-old Van Buren girl Wednesday morning.
Jones appeared before Circuit Judge Steven Tabor via video and was appointed a public defender. According to Sebastian County Prosecutor Dan Shue, Jones entered a plea of not guilty and remains in the Sebastian County jail with a cash bond set at $1 million.
On Feb. 21, the Arkansas State Crime Lab used dental records to identify human remains found in Sebastian County as Angela Allen, who was reported missing by her grandmother more than a week ago.
The medical examiner ruled her cause of death as strangulation. At a news conference that afternoon, Major Nickson said the medical examiner did not say if there were any other signs of trauma or sexual assault.
Court documents state that during a recorded interview with his father at the jail, Jones admitted to the killing. When his father asked what was going on, Jones stated “Did they find her?” and “I panicked – I did it,” according to the arrest warrant.
Allen was last seen on Feb. 10. According to police, she told her grandmother she was going for a walk around 7:30 p.m. Allen never returned and was reported missing the next day.
Allen’s body was found inside a blue plastic barrel buried on the property belonging to Jones’ family off Highway 96 in Lavaca, on Feb. 17.
According to the arrest warrant, deputies could identify a human hand and a pair of shoes through a hole that was cut inside the barrel.
Investigators say Jones began communicating with Allen on a social networking site called Mbuzzy.com and arranged a meeting with her on the night she disappeared. Police found that the two had communicated via text messages on their cell phones, as well.
The affidavits for a search warrant and a murder arrest states Jones told investigators he picked Allen up that night at the Summit Hospital parking lot in Van Buren. He planned to take her to his home in Lavaca, but said he decided he shouldn’t because his girlfriend would be upset, according to the affidavit.
Jones told investigators took Allen down by the Arkansas River in an area off Highway 253 in Lavaca, commonly known as the “Mud Town Bottoms,” and the two began “making out.”
The affidavit states Jones became upset with Allen after she told him she was only 16.
Jones said he forcibly struck her in the chest with both hands, knocking her into and under the water, according to the affidavit. The document states he claimed he left her there. However, the medical examiner found no fluid in her lungs, according to the affidavit for warrant of arrest.
The affidavit also states that Amanda Cox, one of Jones’ girlfriend at the time of his arrest, said that his clothes were covered in mud when he came home.
Investigators searched Jones’ home and recovered several pieces of evidence including his cell phone, hard drive files and computers.
A memorial account has also been set up at Citizen’s Bank. You can donate to the Allen family under the account Angela Dawn Allen. Family members say money left over from expenses will be donated to the Morgan Nick Foundation who they say has helped them since the day Allen went missing.