Unsolved: Questions of Justice

The 1989 murder of Shannon Siders in Newaygo County drew national attention as police spent decades trying to find who killed her.

Brothers Matthew and Paul Jones were convicted in 2015 of killing Shannon, but the case is getting a fresh look.

A private investigator is now convinced the jones brothers are innocent.

Bill Proctor spent decades working as an investigative reporter. He now spends his days working as a licensed private investigator.

Proctor recently began looking into the conviction of brothers Matthew and Paul jones for the 1989 murder of Shannon Siders in Newaygo.

“When you started looking at it. Well, it’s always disturbing to know that a cold case team comes together to look back more than two decades,” said Proctor.

Proctor says there was more that caught his attention. Enough to begin interviews around Newaygo County and publish them online.

“All they had was conjecture and statements and what people said they heard from the boys that sounded incriminating. The first thing you think about when you hear will somebody said X, Y or Z is context.

In 1993, Matthew went to the Michigan State Police post with the MSP investigator in the building with the polygraph operator answered three very specific questions and passed the polygraph,” said Proctor.

But a major turn in Proctor’s investigation came several months ago, when a key witness, Dean Robinson, said in an affidavit he lied on the stand in the 2015 trial of the Jones brothers and claimed he never saw Matthew or Paul involved in a homicide.

“I absolutely believe him. Because there was no benefit in what information he gave to me,” said Proctor.

“The document he signed for him, no benefit at all. And what we’re hoping is that the truth will mean something to the overall picture, which is to reverse the wrongful conviction of Matthew and Paul Jones,” added Proctor.

Proctor hopes now the affidavit is enough to get the case back in front of a judge.

“I would hope that based on this and other elements that we have in our custody that we’ve determined, I think there’s enough to drive the decision for a new trial,” said Proctor.

Until that happens, Proctor will keep digging,

“Innocent people should not be in prison, and they most certainly should not die in prison before they get a chance to tell the world that they’re innocent,” said Proctor.

We did reach out to Pat Hedlund the former police chief of Newaygo and former Newaygo County Sheriff who spent significant time investigating Shannon’s murder.

He says Proctor is “going to be surprised when this all irons out,” and he “felt the Jones brothers had competent council and the attempt to retry using supposition and conjecture is just silly.”

Proctor had much more to say to David Lyden.

  You can listen to his extended interview on the unsolved podcast.

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