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Man sentenced in connection with beating death

Russell Pierce Jones
Victim was killed with baseball bat

The last defendant in a case involving the 2017 beating death of a Medford man has been sentenced to 15 years in prison.

The Jackson County District Attorney’s Office announced Wednesday that Russell Pierce Jones entered no contest pleas to charges of conspiracy to commit murder and first-degree attempted robbery.

The no contest pleas are not an admission of guilt, but a concession that prosecutors could likely prove their case at trial.

Prosecutors said in the early hours of Oct. 2, 2017, Jones, co-defendant Gavin Curtis MacFarlane and Ellen Rose Friar entered the home of Aaron Neil Friar on Benson Street in Medford. Ellen Rose Friar is the daughter of Aaron Neil Friar.

While the elder Friar was asleep on his couch, MacFarlane struck him multiple times with a baseball bat, killing him. Jones aided MacFarlane in dumping his body, as well as the bat, along East Antelope Road outside Eagle Point, prosecutors said.

MacFarlane, 19 at the time, had been in a sexual relationship with Ellen Rose Friar, who was 15 at the time of the murder. Aaron Neil Friar had reported MacFarlane to police for statutory rape, and he wanted the pair to be kept apart, according to previous media reports.

In 2018, MacFarlane was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison.

Ellen Rose Friar was sentenced to 25 years in prison in 2019.

Investigators found written plans to kill Aaron Neil Friar, as well as Jones’ father, according to previous media reports.

The case against Jones was prosecuted by Jackson County Chief Deputy District Attorney Jeremy Markiewicz and Deputy District Attorney Benjamin Lull.

Reach Mail Tribune reporter Vickie Aldous at 541-776-4486 or valdous@rosebudmedia.com. Follow her on Twitter @VickieAldous.