WHITE CLOUD, Mich. (WOOD) — Several witnesses have testified in a key hearing for two brothers accused of killing a young woman in 1989.
Matthew Jones, 44, and Paul Jones, 42, are charged with first-degree murder in the death of 18-year-old Shannon Siders.
Siders’ father, Bob Siders, was the first to take the stand during a preliminary examination on Wednesday.
He spoke about the last time he saw Shannon the night she went missing. He testified that before he left to work his midnight shift, he saw Shannon getting ready in the bathroom presumably to go out with friends that night. When he returned in the morning, Shannon was not home.
Bob told the judge Shannon had left the house before for a week at a time or so, and once ran away to see her mother in the Upper Peninsula when she was 16, but this was different. He reported his daughter missing on July 18, 1989.
He went on to speak about his efforts to locate Shannon in the days following her disappearance — contacting friends, and eventually filling out a missing persons report. At one point he was contacted by police as several of Shannon’s ID’s had shown up in a wooded area off M-82. He searched the area with police and on his own, but never found her.
Shannon’s decomposed body was discovered in October 1989 by a hunter in the Manistee National Forest. She had been beaten to death. The case was ruled a homicide.
During the hearing there was a lot of discussion on Shannon’s class ring that was never recovered, although the prosecution and defense never went into the relevance of the ring.
Shannon’s boyfriend at the time, Brian Aishe, was in Ohio when she went missing.
The defense questioned Aishe about a mutual friend the couple had partied with and Aishe had told police was violent, suggesting he may be a suspect in Shannon’s murder. But Aishe says he has no reason to suspect the friend in Shannon’s death.
Taking the stand just before noon was a witness who saw Shannon with the two brothers at a party the night she went missing. The party involved drugs and alcohol and spanned Newaygo and Grant over two days. He testified that the brothers said they dropped her off at home during the journey.
Authorities say Siders was last seen riding in Paul Jones’ car with his brother Matthew. The Jones brothers told police in 1989 that they had dropped Siders off at her Newaygo home. They were told at one point they were cleared.
A large group of Siders supporters wore pink T-shirts saying “Justice will prevail.”
The judge is expected to make a decision if there is enough evidence to send the case to trial.