EVERETT — A New York man charged with murdering his girlfriend in Everett last year after she had told him she wanted to end their relationship backed out of a plea deal on Monday.
Bernard H. Jones Jr., 43, of Bronx allegedly stabbed and killed 41-year-old Lekevia Bush in her 507 W. Main St. apartment in September 2018 as her adult daughter hid in the bathroom.
Jones was scheduled to accept a plea agreement in the case on Monday, but rejected the offer after appearing before Judge Travis Livengood.
Chief Public Defender Karen Hickey told Livengood about Jones’ decision after she had a conversation with the defendant in the courtroom.
Hickey told the judge that the plea would have reduced Jones’ first degree murder charge to a second degree murder charge.
Livengood asked Jones if he understood that he may not receive a similar plea offer and the defendant replied that he understood.
Livengood said the trial would be continued until the next trial term. Assistant District Attorney Jonathan Thomas told the judge that it would be difficult for witnesses in the case to be ready for a trial in the current term.
“The victims were under the impression that there would be a plea today,” Thomas said.
Jones has been incarcerated since Sept. 4, 2018 after he allegedly grabbed a kitchen knife and stabbed Bush multiple times during an altercation about 2 a.m. that morning. Jones fled the bloody crime scene in Bush’s car and was arrested along the Pennsylvania Turnpike in Chester County about two hours after the homicide.
State police said Jones was taken to the state police barracks in Embreeville where he admitted to stabbing Bush multiple times after she told him she wanted to end their relationship, according to court documents.
Bush had a pulse but shallow breathing when troopers arrived at her apartment just after 2 a.m. She was taken to UPMC Bedford Memorial where she was pronounced dead at 4:58 a.m. by Coroner Rusty Styer.
An autopsy was performed an the cause of death was ruled exsanguination — a severe loss of blood — due to multiple sharp force injuries. The manner of death was ruled a homicide.
Bush’s 23-year-old daughter, Takevia Dennie, was in the apartment at the time of the murder, according to police. She hid in the bathroom and called 911 after Jones allegedly grabbed a knife from the kitchen and forced his way into Bush’s bedroom.