By Andy Furillo
Quran Mahammed Jones, the Sacramento State student accused of beating dormitory roommate Scott Gregory Hawkins to death with a baseball bat three years ago, pleaded out to a negotiated settlement in court today and was convicted of second-degree murder.
Sacramento Superior Court Judge Gary S. Mullen sentenced Jones to 15 years to life in prison, but found that Jones was insane at the time he murdered fellow student Scott Gregory Hawkins. Mullen ordered that Jones be placed placed in the state's Conditional Release Program. Under the placement, Jones will be sent to Napa State Hospital and will be eligible for hearings on his sanity every year.
Along with the negotiated settlement on the murder charge, Jones, 22, also pleaded no contest to three counts of attempted murder and three more counts of brandishing a weapon. Under the terms of his plea, if he is ever found to recover his sanity, he would then be sent to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation for a term of 18 years and four months. Judge Mullen ordered Jones to serve the two terms concurrently.
In a press release, the Sacramento County District Attorney's Office said that two court-appointed psychiatrists found that Jones suffered from schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder at the time he beat Hawkins, 23, with the baseball bat and also stabbed him in the head.The press release said the doctors found Jones legally insane and that their findings were confirmed by a defense expert.
Sacramento State police officers who responded to the Oct. 21, 2009, attack said that when they entered the American River Courtyard dorm, which had just opened that fall, they found Jones holding a knife to his own neck and making bizarre noises. One officer said Jones' tongue was hanging out of his mouth.
At Jones' preliminary hearing in October 2010, Assistant Public Defender Jeffrey Barbour said "We don't know what precipitated this attack."
Hawkins was a history major who grew up in Santa Clara County. Jones was a foster child from San Francisco whose new parents had put him through a private Catholic high school before he moved on to Sacramento State