Florida Man Who Tried to Kill Ex-Wife with Poison-Laced Water Gun Amid Custody Dispute Sentenced to 10 Years

A man accused of planning to kill his ex-wife by spraying her in the face with a water gun loaded with homemade poison is headed to prison, federal prosecutors said.

During a traffic stop in Florida, deputies caught Kevin Deane Jones, 50, with a plastic water gun full of the highly toxic substance ricin while on his way to Texas, where his ex-wife lived in December 2021, court documents show.

Jones Planned to Go on Vacation Afterwards So 'He Would Have an Alibi'

Kevin Deane Jones
Kevin Deane Jones Twitter

After he was read his Miranda rights, he admitted to making the ricin as part of a murder plot to kill his ex, according to investigators. If Jones had been successful, he planned to go on vacation directly after the murder "so that he would have an alibi when (his ex-wife) died," prosecutors said.

The poison ricin is found in castor beans and can be adapted into several forms, including water if it is dissolved, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The agency warns it can be deadly within 36 to 72 hours of exposure. Investigators said they learned Jones made ricin at his home with items ordered from Amazon.

Jones, of Kissimmee, Florida, has now been sentenced to ten years in prison for illegally possessing ricin and for possessing two firearms as a convicted felon, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Florida announced in a Jan. 17 news release.

Jones, Ex-Wife Were in the Middle of a Child Custody Dispute

On Dec. 6, 2021, Jones' ex-wife contacted the FBI's Tampa office to report Jones had made ricin and wanted to kill her with it after an unnamed witness informed her of his plans, according to the affidavit.

The Osceola County Sheriff's Office was also alerted to the murder plot and learned Jones "had become increasingly angry due to child custody issues" involving his ex, the affidavit states.

Jones is accused of making ricin at his apartment and testing out toy water guns "to see which ones leaked" before he sprayed his ex-wife with one. On Dec. 17, 2021, when Jones' ex-wife told him that she wouldn't send their daughter to Florida for Christmas, he decided to drive to Texas that day, investigators said.

However, what Jones didn't know is that authorities were tracking him as he put five vials of ricin and a toy water gun into his truck, according to the government's sentencing memo.

If law enforcement hadn't conducted a traffic stop of his vehicle, "it is highly probable that (Jones) would have succeeded in his attempt to kill his estranged wife," the sentencing memo states.

Following the traffic stop, a search of Jones' home revealed more ricin, castor beans, documents on ricin and roughly 200 rounds of ammunition, the release said.

Jones Previously Exhibited Abusive Behavior Towards Former Romantic Partners

In a sentencing memo submitted on behalf of Jones, his attorney wrote that Jones was "derailed by a drug problem and a difficult divorce," arguing this affected his decision-making and resulted in the plot to spray his ex-wife with ricin.

Jones' current fiancée wrote a letter to the judge, saying that Jones feels remorse over the case and wouldn't have actually went through with his plan.

Meanwhile, prosecutors said Jones' murder plot involved a "remarkable level of sophistication and commitment" after he already had a history of showing "anger and abusive behavior" toward former romantic partners.