A Stockton man appeared in court last week to face charges in a gruesome murder, after which he allegedly left his dead girlfriend's corpse to rot in his bathroom for six months before she was found. Reporter Rowena Shaddox of the Stockton Fox affiliate KTXL says, "In the 20 years that I've been reporting on crime, this is the most heinous, the most brutal murder I've had to report on."
Devon Epps is accused of murdering girlfriend Veronica Jones, 35, and leaving her body to decompose between the time of her murder in June 2011, until he was finally arrested and the body discovered last December. And she was only found at that point because Epps was getting evicted from his apartment.
The coroner's report says that Jones was bludgeoned multiple times with a metal table pedestal, raped, and stabbed 32 times. Despite her family having filed a missing persons report, Stockton police failed to visit the apartment she shared with Epps for over a month, and failed to enter the apartment at that time. Shaddox reports that Jones had very uncharacteristically stopped contacting friends and family around June 2nd of last year, and had stopped visiting her 2-year-old son with whom she had regular visitation rights.
Epps' trial began Friday and continues this week. Jurors were shown graphic photos of the crime scene, at which point Epps was seen to put his head in his hands. Landlords at his former building say Epps suffered from mental illness, and his arrest photo shows him with various sores on his face and mouth, possibly from drug use.