Parole denied for man convicted in Columbia Steak House murder

Clarence Lee Jones, who was convicted of murder in connection with the 1986 stabbing death of a Columbia Steak House manager, will remain in prison for at least 10 more years.

The state parole board on Monday denied parole to Jones, 54, who has served just under 25 years of his life sentence. They deferred his next appearance before the board for 120 months, citing the seriousness of his crimes and the fact that a life was taken.

Jones, a busboy at the restaurant, and his roommate at the time, Eric Hubert Hayden, were sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for 25 years for murdering Stafford Clay Nelson. They also received a 20-year sentence for robbing the restaurant.

Nelson, 36, of Richmond was stabbed 51 times and his body was left inside Columbia Steak House on Alexandria Drive. The restaurant was set on fire during the robbery. More than $4,600 was stolen.

Hayden and Jones were acquitted of first-degree arson.

Fayette Commonwealth's Attorney Ray Larson had sought the death penalty for both men.

This month, parole board members denied parole to Hayden.

He won't be eligible to go before the parole board again for five years.