RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – The family of Keith Jones, the 13-year-old killed at his bus stop in 2014, spoke to CBS North Carolina after the man who hit their son pleaded guilty.
Efren Vences plead guilty to misdemeanor death by vehicle. He will now have 24 months of probation, as well as pay restitution to the family through an athletic memorial foundation in Keith Jones’ name.
Keith Jones, the father of the 13-year-old killed, says he is happy the case is not going to trial.
“Just keep opening the wound, wound, wound. It’s almost like you’re waiting for something to happen,” he said.
He says he wants to remember his son as the boy he left their house that day, and not see terrible images in a court room from the scene of the incident.
“He’s already passed. I can’t bring him back; we can’t bring him back. But I can honor him,” said Jones.
Jones says he is able to forgive Vences, but he’s not pleased with the punishment Vences received and his wife agrees.
“I think we just got a measure of justice, “said D Jones.
However, D Jones says that is not what is important to her at this point in time.
“I do not allow this man, or even his actions to consume my time like that or my thoughts. My time and my thoughts are centered around my son,” said D Jones.
Jones says instead she is focusing on Keith Jones Athletic Memorial Foundation, which gives kids the chance to enjoy a sport 13-year-old KJ, as his family knew him, did his whole life.
And they want to make sure his name is not forgotten.
“By that he lives on,” said D Jones.
According to the court documents Vences will have to spend several days in jail throughout his probation, including Christmas, Thanksgiving and Mothers and Father’s day.
Vences, who was 28 at the time, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor death by motor vehicle and misdemeanor hit and run. He was originally charged with felony hit and run, misdemeanor death by motor vehicle and operating a vehicle without a license.
Back in September 2014, troopers said Keith Jones was waiting for his school bus when he was hit by an older model Ford Crown Victoria around 7 a.m. in Wendell.
Jones’ parents began searching for their son after they saw his backpack on the ground. They eventually found his body in a ditch near his home.
Part of the sentencing includes his giving a $1,000 fine to the Keith Jones Foundation. Also Vences must spend 12 days over the next two years in jail. The days include the anniversary of Keith Jones’ death, Christmas, Thanksgiving, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and Jones’ birthday.