The Justice Files: A brother remembered

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SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Utah) – The two men were lifelong friends before one turned on the other. And it cost Randy Jones his life.

One year ago, authorities found Jones’ body in a rural area of Emery County.  He had been repeatedly beaten with a baseball bat.

His so-called lifelong friend Brandon Samples was later arrested, convicted and will soon head to prison.

“I am sitting here right now looking at my brother’s picture and it breaks my heart,” said his sister Star Byrge. “And I miss him so much.”

Jones was an older brother and his sister is now on a mission for justice. 

“I still don’t understand,” she said.  “We probably will never know why Brandon killed him because Randy was nothing but good to him.”

Witnesses claimed Samples was angry with Jones but wouldn’t tell him why before he was killed.  A woman was with Samples and Jones when he was murdered.  

“When I was walking out towards Randy all I heard was ‘no Brandon,'” said the witness Anna Brewer. “(Randy said) ‘why?’  I heard the bat hit Randy.”

Brewer testified that Samples repeatedly hit him with the bat and Jones kept asking him why he was angry.  Brewer said Samples told him “you know why.” She also testified that she was forced to hit him as well.

“‘(Samples told me) I can’t believe I broke one of the bats,'” Brewer said.

Samples testified on his own behalf defending his actions but a jury convicted him of murder.

“How much of this could I believe because you could tell he was telling a story that he was, had a plan already in place,” said another sister Rayette Jones.

Both sisters acknowledge that their brother had his problems but didn’t deserve to be murdered.

“He had a big heart,” said Jones. “He wasn’t perfect but he was a good guy.  He would help you out no matter what it cost him.”

In his younger days, Jones served in the Army and Byrge recalled the day of her graduation.  It was also the same day her brother returned home and surprised her.

“I was walking down the steps and I kept hearing somebody whistling and yelling my name,” Byrge said.  “I didn’t know who was there. It was a surprise for me.  It was awesome.  I’m sort of crying thinking about it.”

They miss their brother and both yearn for another day with him.  They know that will never happen but for now they’ll settle for getting their brother the justice he deserves.

 “This fight will never be done until he is in prison for life,” said Jones.  “I do not want this to happen to another family by this person.”

Samples will be sentenced next month in Castledale.  Jones said she will request he serve the rest of his life in prison.  And Jones also said she plans to attend future parole hearings to oppose Samples from ever being released from prison.

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