Jury finds Springfield man guilty of murdering his wife, Krystal Jones

·3 min read
Krystal Jones, left, a colleague and the Lane Community College mascot pose for a photo.
Krystal Jones, left, a colleague and the Lane Community College mascot pose for a photo.

A jury found Springfield resident Gino Mattei guilty of second-degree murder for shooting his wife, Krystal Jones, 31, at their apartment on April 3, 2020.

The unanimous decision, which also found Mattei guilty of unlawful use of a weapon, followed two days of deliberation and a four-day trial in Lane County Circuit Court.

The jury sided with the prosecution, led by Lane County Deputy District Attorney JoAnn Miller, who in closing arguments said the killing was notable for how personal and intentional it appeared to be, with Jones being shot eight times in her own home.

"It builds to a required element in this case, and there is intention in that," Miller said to the jury in closing arguments Wednesday. "What happened to Krystal is personal."

Previous coverage: Murder trial begins for Springfield man accused of killing his wife, Krystal Jones

After the guilty verdict, Miller told The Register-Guard she is relieved for Jones' family and appreciative to the investigation conducted by Springfield police.

"Circumstantial cases present unique challenges and that's when professionalism and thoroughness really make a difference," she said.

Mattei's attorney, Geoffrey Gokey, declined to comment on the outcome following the verdict, other than saying in an email prior to the verdict that "the jury has spoken."

Since the trial began Jan. 12, Miller and Gokey called more than a dozen witnesses, including Jones' two friends who lived upstairs from her apartment, and a state trooper who said Mattei hid behind his friend when showing them a photo of Mattei, 47, and asking if they saw him.

A forensic specialist was called by the defense as Gokey argued there wasn't evidence of gunshot residue on the sweatshirt that had blood on it left at the house of Mattei's friend after the murder.

A point Gokey focused on during his arguments and cross-examinations was whether Jones' neighbors actually heard Jones say "it was Gino" after she was shot, and he argued they never told police it was Mattei that night.

"Nobody wants to see their friend die, but it's at a time when you're most likely to remember what someone said and what you heard," he said.

Related: 'I miss her every day': Family and friends mourn a year without Krystal Jones

Other pieces of evidence were security footage of Mattei fleeing the apartment complex in an alleyway and comments he allegedly made at a DariMart saying he "whacked Jones ... and a Black guy," although no one else was found shot during police investigation.

Jones was a former public safety officer at Lane Community College, joining the school's department as a work-study student in 2015 before becoming an officer. She was also a mother of two sons, who she lost custody of after relapsing with drug addiction. She also was a caregiver and an active volunteer in the community.

"When someone says they want to kill someone, wants to shoot them, and then they do so and that person dies, you have a word for that, and we call it murder," Miller said in her opening statements Jan. 12.

The parties are waiting for a sentencing date. Circuit Judge Bradley Cascagnette presided over the trial that was in-person only for the witnesses, attorneys and jury.

Louis Krauss covers breaking news for The Register-Guard. Contact him at lkrauss@registerguard.com and follow him on Twitter @LouisKraussNews.

This article originally appeared on Register-Guard: Springfield man guilty of murdering wife Krystal Jones, jury finds

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