by Roland Doobie
WALPOLE, MA — The Massachusetts Department of Correction is scrambling for answers as to why a man convicted of double murder was mistakenly released to the wrong family.
Joseph “Hambone” Jones of Brockton was released from Cedar Junction prison to the custody of his alleged parents, Mr. and Mrs. Henry Jones of Belchertown.
Inmates are typically picked up by a family member when released. However, Mr. Jones and his wife, Beverley, are no longer able to drive due to medical conditions, so the Department of Corrections arranged Jones’s transportation to their Belchertown home.
The Joneses expected their son, 52-year-old Joseph “Spanky” Jones, to be delivered with a monitoring bracelet to serve-out a six-month, house-arrest sentence. “Spanky” has been incarcerated for 12 months following his conviction for an “obscene act with an animal” at a 4H event at the “Big E” State Fair in Springfield.
But, when authorities pulled-up to the Jones’s modest ranch, the elderly couple knew something wasn’t right.
“My son is five-foot-five and about 120 pounds, soaking wet, and he’s as white as milk. The fella that greeted me with a big hug and kiss was nearly six-foot-five, Black, and scary as Hell,” said Mr. Jones.
“That’s not my Spanky. Not even close,” added Mrs. Jones.
“Hambone” quickly refuted the parents’ denials, saying, “That’s my folks just being funny again! We don’t look alike but we’ze gots the same sense of humor. I’ze sho’ glad to see ’em and have mamma fix me some suppah.”
The Massachusetts Department of Correction declined further comment on the apparent mix-up, stating only that “the matter is under review and our findings may take 30 days or more to conclude. Until such time, Mr. Jones will remain with the Joneses. We will require tangible, documented proof that he is not their son.”
The elder Mr. Jones responded to the statement, saying, “Billie Jean was not my lover, and the kid is not my son.”