Mesa daughter, parents, avoid jail time for hiding baby in custody case
PHOENIX — A Mesa woman and her parents were sentenced to three years of supervised probation on Friday for hiding the woman’s baby from his father who shared joint custody.
Roland Jones and his wife Cassandra Yusko-Jones received three years of supervised probation for conspiracy to commit custodial interference, while their daughter Madeline Jones was sentenced to three years of supervised probation for custodial interference.
They all pleaded guilty to the charges in May. They were facing a year each in prison.
“These felony convictions, which are probation eligible under Arizona’s sentencing statutes, will still require the defendants to comply with terms and conditions of supervision, including restitution,” Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery said in a statement.
“The defendants surely must now understand the serious nature of their deceptive conduct and its impact on the community.”
Roland Jones reported his daughter and her son, who were 19 and 1 at the time, missing from their Mesa home in June 2017. He said he was concerned about his daughter due to her recent divorce and “conveyed a belief that the ex-husband had been abusive to both their daughter and grandson,” a press release said.
He reported them missing in the area of Mesa Drive and Baseline Road in Mesa, where police said was near Madeline’s divorce attorney. Police also noted that the sound of a baby fussing could be heard in the background of the call when Roland Jones reported them missing.
The parents told police that their daughter was going to retain an appellate attorney after she was granted joint custody of her son with her ex-husband, Jacob Gouchenour, when she went missing. Before she went missing, police documents detailed the girl’s efforts to dye her hair and withdrawing large amounts of cash.
Police said Cassandra “provided misinformation to purposefully mislead police when reporting Madeline and William missing, making bank withdrawals and providing cash to Madeline to assist in a ‘vacation,’ was present while Madeline changed her and William’s appearance,” court documents said.
Roland and Cassandra Jones were detained at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport three months later, as they were preparing to board a plane.
Madeline Jones and her son were found safe in California last October.