ANDERSON – The Gary woman charged with the kidnapping and murder of an Anderson mother in 2015 entered pleas of guilty on Friday in Madison Circuit Court Division 3.
Through a plea agreement Geraldine Jones, 39, entered pleas of guilty to voluntary manslaughter, a Level 2 felony; criminal confinement as a Level 3 felony; and criminal confinement as a Level 5 felony. Her trial is set for May 14.
Madison Circuit Court Division 3 Judge Thomas Newman Jr. set sentencing for May 25. Jones faces a possible prison sentence ranging from 14 to 52 years.
Lisa DeLey, Jones' attorney, said she will receive a 30-year executive sentence and 10 years on probation.
“The state made the offer,” DeLey said of the plea agreement, “and Geraldine was satisfied with it.
“She’s ready to put this behind her,” she added. “She’s at peace.”
DeLey said she was pleased with the outcome in the case.
Jones was charged with killing Samantha Fleming after kidnapping her and her baby in Anderson on April 6, 2015, and taking the two to Gary. Fleming's body was found in a closet in a Gary home; the infant was at the home and being cared for by Jones' sister, according to court documents.
The child, named Serenity, had reportedly been renamed Bella.
Jones had flown to Texas to see her mother.
Prosecutors allege that Jones called Fleming's mother on April 4, 2015, claiming to be an employee of the Department of Child Services. Jones allegedly said she needed to contact Fleming regarding the infant. Fleming's mother gave Fleming's phone number to Jones, and Jones called her.
Two days later, Jones, carrying a binder and dressed in business attire, showed up at Fleming's house, according to authorities. Fleming's boyfriend answered the door and awakened Fleming. Fleming began to pack to go with Jones to Gary for a court appearance, the state alleges.
Jones told Fleming to bring her baby with her because it would "look good" in court, documents say.
During the drive north, Fleming allegedly contacted her mother by phone; however, there was about an hour and 50 minutes time during which Fleming did not contact her mother because she was supposedly in the court hearing.
After that time, a text message was sent from Fleming's phone to her family that said, "The judge said I don't deserve my kid."
Investigators found that no court date had been scheduled for Fleming that day.
Jones is a former Lake County Assessor's Office employee.
Fleming's body was found April 17. She had been stabbed 10 times, was doused in bleach and stuffed in a plastic bin.
Neighbors told police that Jones had told them she was pregnant and attempted to pass Fleming's baby off as her own. Her apartment had a nursery, crib, changing table and other items needed to care for an infant.
Follow Ken de la Bastide on Twitter @KendelaBastide, or call 765-640-4863.