Willie M. Jones Jr., 34, was convicted as charged of second-degree murder for killing Melody Harlmon Jones, 31, on April 27, 2011, at their residence at 1309 Royal Oaks.
The defendant testified that the handgun went off by accident, but the argument, threats he made to his wife and the shooting itself were recorded on a voicemail the victim’s brother received.
Melody Jones died of a gunshot wound to the chest.
The couple had been together for more than 20 years and had been married for about a year at the time she was killed. The couple’s daughter testified that her father often abused her mother.
The case was handled by assistant district attorneys Carla Taylor and Chris West of the DA’s Domestic Violence Prosecution Unit (DVU).
The unit prosecutes felony cases of domestic assault and homicide committed by intimate partners. The DVU also works closely with the Shelby County Family Safety Center to provide services and assistance to victims and their families.
The Criminal Court jury on Friday also convicted Jones of being a convicted felon in possession of a handgun.
Jones had a prior felony drug conviction and a conviction for criminal exposure to the HIV virus.
He once bit his wife’s uncle when he, Jones, was threatening to kill her. Jones also had passed the HIV virus on to his wife when she became pregnant.
Jones faces 15 to 25 years with no parole in the murder case.
He will be sentenced Sept. 9 by Judge James Lammey Jr.