Crime

20-year-old was dismembered, left in Lexington trash bin. Her child’s dad pleads guilty.

How DNA evidence works

With the exception of identical twins, each person has a unique DNA profile. This makes DNA matching a powerful tool for finding and convicting the perpetrator of a crime.
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With the exception of identical twins, each person has a unique DNA profile. This makes DNA matching a powerful tool for finding and convicting the perpetrator of a crime.

A Lexington man pleaded guilty but mentally ill Wednesday to killing his ex-girlfriend, 20-year-old Haley Bourgeois, and dismembering her body.

Under the plea agreement, Patrick Ryan Jones, 27, faces 30 years in prison. By pleading guilty but mentally ill, Jones will have access to mental-health programs in prison.

Jones also pleaded guilty to abuse of a corpse, a misdemeanor charge.

Another charge of tampering with evidence was dismissed. A separate, unrelated felony theft charge was also dismissed. Jones had been scheduled to go on trial Monday but the plea cancels that proceeding.

Fayette Circuit Judge Thomas Travis scheduled sentencing for March 28.

A staff psychiatrist who evaluated Jones at the Kentucky Correctional Psychiatric Center in La Grange had determined that he had a mental illness. But the psychiatrist also found that Jones was competent to stand trial.

That meant Jones was able to consult with his attorneys and that Jones had a rational and factual understanding of the case against him.

On July 21, 2016, police were dispatched to Malabu Drive off Nicholasville Road after a body was found in a Dumpster behind Brookhaven Apartments, according to court documents.

Those documents said a witness told officers that Jones admitted to killing Bourgeois, dismembering her and putting her in the Dumpster.

Bourgeois and Jones had a child together, court documents said. Records also show that Jones and Bourgeois had filed emergency protective orders against each other but the orders were later dismissed.

Greg Kocher has been at the Lexington Herald-Leader since 1997. He covers state and federal courts, and some breaking news. From 1997 to 2016, he was a regional reporter who covered counties adjacent to Fayette County.


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