Convicted Cop Killer Dies on Death Row

By: Julie Montanaro
November 3, 2015

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- A man convicted of killing a Tallahassee Police officer has died on death row.

The Department of Corrections confirms that Clarence Jones died of what appears to be natural causes last week. He'd been on death row for 26 years.

Jones was sentenced to death for ambushing Tallahassee Police Officer Ernie Ponce de Leon during a traffic stop back in 1988.

David Ferrell worked with Ponce de Leon at TPD back then.

"When Ernie got murdered that morning it just... personally made me realize how dangerous this job really is," Ferrell said. "Ernie and Greg responded to a suspicious persons call down on Lake Bradford Road. It was a standard, common call and the first thing you know, it turns into a running gun battle."

Ferrell says Jones' death does not bring him any closure. He still misses his fellow officer and friend and continues to fasten Ponce de Leon's picture to his bike as a way to honor him during remembrance rides.

A DOC spokesman says Jones died last Tuesday, October 27th. Both FDLE and the DOC's Inspector General are investigating, which the DOC says is standard protocol in any unattended deaths.

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