Man who killed mother sentenced to life

Photos by Avery Seeger | Kentucky New Era

Jamal Mounts is escorted out of the courtroom following being sentenced to life in prison after being found guilty by jury in June of the murder of his mother.

The man who murdered his mother in 2014 received his final sentencing Wednesday afternoon after being found guilty by jury July 11. Jamal Mounts was sentenced to life in prison.

Mounts was also found guilty of criminal intent to commit murder and first-degree burglary, with the jury recommending he receive 20 years for each charge to be served consecutively for a total of 40 years plus life.

Wednesday afternoon he stood before Judge Andrew Self and received not only a life sentence but also 40 years to be served concurrently with it.

“I believe that (Mounts) would benefit from any kind of mental health help that can be provided at sentencing,” said his defense attorney Stephanie Ritchie-Miz to the judge. “I know he was not found to be mentally ill, but I do believe any treatment he can be appointed while he is in custody would definitely be beneficial.”

Following her remarks, Self gave the Commonwealth’s Attorney Rick Boling an opportunity to share what he believed Mounts should receive for sentencing. Boling simply asked that Self follow the recommendation given by jury.

A life sentence means Mounts will be required to serve a minimum of 25 years before he is eligible for parole. Normally, a defendant would be required to serve only 80% of a sentence before being eligible for parole, but he must serve all 25.

Self gave Mounts credit for time he has served in custody, which is over 2,000 days.

“I also believe that Mounts would benefit from treatment while incarcerated,” Self said.

The judge added that he read a written statement Mounts had written to him in Mounts’ pre-sentence investigation file. He went on to tell the court that Mounts has 30 days to submit an appeal directly to the Kentucky Supreme Court.

According to New Era archives, Mounts was found guilty of beating his mother, Roxie C. Mounts, 65, to death March 1, 2014, at a Hopkinsville apartment building and then attacking a second woman across the hall until officers arrived and stopped him.

Mounts’ case was delayed several times due to the court addressing potential mental health issues.

However, instead of being diagnosed clinically insane, two state psychiatric examiners determined he did not qualify for a plea by reason of insanity. Mounts was instead diagnosed with malingering, or exaggerating illness in order to escape duty or work.

During the trial, jurors heard from forensic psychiatrist Daniel Hackman who did an evaluation of Mounts while he was at the center.

According to reports from the center, Mounts admitted to lying about being suicidal to get out of “the hole” in jail.

“Him admitting to embellishing his issues further validated our diagnosis of malingering,” Hackman said. “My opinion was that he does not qualify for an insanity plea because he used illicit drugs.”

Two of his family members also shared during the trial that Mounts was not himself the day of the attack and don’t see him that way today.

“He was somebody that I didn’t recognize,” said Mounts’ adoptive sister, Kelly Edwards. “When he first looked at me, it was like a blank stare.”

Edwards said she has maintained contact with her brother since the incident. That very next day, she said he called her from jail and had no idea what he had done.

“He said he tried to call mama to have her come help him,” she said during the trial. “I had to tell him why he was in jail, and I heard him cry like he had never cried before.”

The defense also brought up Jamal Mounts’ niece, Aiiryel Edwards, who said her grandmother Roxie Mounts was a forgiving person and she would not have wanted the worse for Jamal Mounts.

“I can’t really understand what it is that he’s going through,” Aiiryel Edwards said during the trial. “But I really feel for him and everyone else in this. It was a double loss our family took in this.”

Reach Avery Seeger at 270-887-3236 or aseeger@kentuckynewera.com. Follow him on Twitter @AveryNewEra

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