In 1999, cyclist Lance Armstrong won his first Tour de France, 15 people were shot and killed during a rampage by two students at Columbine High School and Vladimir Putin became Russia’s president.
And the youngest Americans ever to be tried for first-degree murder as adults were sent to prison.
In less than two weeks, they’ll get out.
Curtis Jones was 12 and Catherine Jones was 13 when the siblings killed their father’s girlfriend, Nicole Speights, 16 years ago. They eventually pleaded to second-degree murder and were given 18-year sentences. Curtis and Catherine will be on probation for the rest of their lives.
“Of course there are fears. Mainly because there’s so much I must learn to function like a normal person."
- Catherine Jones
The pair originally planned to kill Speights, their father and another male relative. They claimed the male relative had sexually abused them and that Speights and their father did nothing to protect them. After killing Speights, however, the two became frightened and ran into the woods near their Florida home. Police located them shortly after.
Before he left the courthouse, Curtis asked his attorney if he could bring his Nintendo with him to prison, according to Florida Today.
Curtis, scheduled for release on July 28, is now a 29-year-old ordained minister. He has a total of just 24 hours outside of prison walls in the last 16 years. He escaped from a juvenile detention facility in 2004, a brief jaunt that cost him an extra 318 days in jail, Florida Today reported.
Catherine, who is set to get out Aug. 1, married a pen pal she corresponded with in prison and told Florida Today about the fears she has ahead of leaving prison.
“Of course there are fears,” she said. “Mainly because there’s so much I must learn to function like a normal person: how to drive, fill out job applications, text, dress for a job interview, build my credit.”