Austin man sentenced to life in prison for stabbing his stepmother

An Austin man has been sentenced to life in prison for stabbing his stepmother multiple times in 2016.

Pontrey Jones, 23, was convicted of first-degree murder on October 30 after a Travis County jury deliberated for a total of three minutes. He faced a possible range of punishment from five to 99 years or life.

According to a release from Travis County District Attorney Margaret Moore's office, the jury heard evidence that Jones stabbed his stepmother, 38-year-old Magdalena "Maggie" Ruiz, in the chest with a kitchen knife four times, killing her, on December 18, 2016.

Jones' father testified that he and Ruiz had been watching a Dallas Cowboys game that night and he fell asleep after the game. He said when he woke up, he saw Jones stabbing Ruiz in the chest and called 911 and Jones fled the scene.

Austin police officers said they found Jones a few blocks away and that he had stripped off all his clothes, and that later that night, Jones had confessed to stabbing Ruiz and that his intent was to kill her and he did not regret his actions.

Jones' father told the jury he and Ruiz had been letting Jones stay with them because he had been homeless. Ruiz's sister testified that Ruiz has been planning on helping Jones find his own apartment after the holidays.

The jury also received testimony that Jones had received mental health treatment numerous times throughout his life and that he had once threatened his uncle with a knife when he was 15 and was deemed a high-risk inmate at the Travis County Jail.

Jones had initially been deemed incompetent to stand trial and spent time at the North Texas State Hospital in Vernon before he was found competent. He was also diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder.