IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI) – Kenneth Jones, accused in the murder of Stephanie Eldredge in 2007, was sentenced to 15 years in prison Thursday for voluntary manslaughter.
Jones will serve a minimum of 6 years with 9 years indeterminate. Jones was also sentenced to a five year indeterminate term for concealing evidence, the burial of his victim’s body. In addition, Jones received one year consecutive sentence for obstruction of justice.
The sentence was mediated as a "binding plea agreement" between Jones' attorneys and Bonneville County Prosecutor Daniel Clark.
The sentence came after the court heard from Stephanie’s family about the impact the murder had on their lives over the past 13 years.
Late last year, Kenneth R. Jones took a plea deal and admitted he caused Eldredge's death. He pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter and concealment, and alteration or destruction of evidence as well as resisting and obstruction. As part of the plea agreement, his charges were amended from the original charge of second-degree murder.
In 2007, Stephanie Eldredge was reported missing. When her family came home, they found her baby alone. Family and friends all said that Eldredge would never leave her child alone. At the time, she was dating Jones' half-brother, Michael Jimenez, who was also the father of the baby.
Police began interviewing Jimenez; his mother, Linette Theisen; and Jones.
According to court documents Jones was not being truthful when detectives interviewed him and as a result the investigation focused on him as a potential suspect in Stephanie’s disappearance.
Almost three years later on April 23, 2010, Eldredge’s body was discovered in the foothills of Idaho Falls. According to the probable cause, “‘The cause of her death was undetermined violence with binding of the body’, her death certificate lists her death as homicide.”
“The investigation that began in 2007 and continued through 2018 developed sufficient evidence to name Kenneth Jones as the only person responsible for the murder of Stephanie Eldredge,” according to court documents.
The court also took a statement from a former jail mate of Jones, Eddie Arellano. He stated that while they were in jail, Jones confessed to the murder of Stephanie Eldredge.