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VT- Sex assault suspect found dead in car

5-18-2008 Vermont:

RATTLEBORO -- A Rockingham man who pleaded not guilty Tuesday to charges of sexual assault and sexual abuse of a vulnerable adult was found unconscious in his idling car Friday morning.

Clifford Lee Jones, 46, was transported to Springfield Hospital where he was pronounced dead, according to a press release from the Vermont State Police.

Though the release did not state whether or not Jones committed suicide, it did confirm a note was recovered from the car, which was parked at 51 Hall Bridge Road, his place of residence. The press release also stated the death did not appear suspicious.

A post mortem examination was ordered by Windham County State's Attorney Tracy Kelly Shriver.

On May 13, Jones was charged with sexually assaulting a vulnerable adult two times in the weeks leading up to Christmas 2007. Jones was released on conditions that he check in three times a week with the Bellows Falls Police Department and that he not contact or abuse the alleged victim.

In 1991, Jones was sentenced in federal court to 18 years and four months in prison for conspiracy to distribute cocaine, according to a spokesman with the federal Bureau of Corrections.

He was released from federal custody in 2006 with five years of parole to conclude in 2011. In 1991 he was also charged with sexual assault, a conviction that was later vacated, according to his criminal record. ..more.. by Reformer Staff

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