Dublin woman strangled to death; body found in tote box in Kentucky Lake
Erath County District Attorney Alan Nash released details Monday morning surrounding the death of Dublin resident Traci Leigh Jones.
On June 22, the body of Jones, 41, was found inside a black 50-gallon Craftsman tote box with wheels and a lid, and was found floating in the Kentucky Lake near the state lines of Kentucky and Tennessee.
Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Special Agent Joseph Hudgins reported that the lid of the box had multiple holes drilled into it and was zip tied shut from the outside of the box. It was believed the body was dumped in the state of Tennessee and floated into the state of Kentucky.
An affidavit was obtained from Attorney Heath Allen of Stephenville, who stated that Jones initiated contact with Allen because she was having a dispute with 60-year-old Jeffrey Kenneth Rogers and his wife, Tammy, an Arlington ISD principal. According to investigators, that dispute led to the murder of Jones.
Rogers was charged with the murder of Jones by strangulation and is currently being held in the Tarrant County Jail on a recommended bond amount of $1 million. Under Texas law, murder is a first-degree felony carrying a range of punishment of five up to 99 years or life in the penitentiary.
The E-T contacted Nash early Monday evening who said, “I am not in a position to explain more than what is in the public record and my email explanation of the punishment range for the charged offense.”
Rogers and his wife were involved in a pornography production called Circle V Entertainment. It was revealed that Jones was also engaging in sexual activities with Rogers and his wife, where she was compensated through Venmo and shared a Wells Fargo account with Rogers.
Allen believed that Jones had made contact with an NBC DFW affiliate and Arlington ISD about their relationship. It was Allen’s understanding that Jones was fearful of Rogers and his wife.
On June 15, Rogers purchased a 50-gallon Craftsman black tote with a red lid at Lowe’s in Burleson, which appeared to be identical in size, color and design to that in which Jones’ corpse was found in the Tennessee/Kentucky lake.
Rogers’ wife, Tammy, admitted that Jones was paid to perform sex on video and all three engaged in sexual acts, but only Jeffrey was having sex with Jones since the demise of their threesome relationship. She stated that she lost her job as principal due to Jones’ complaint about the porn production her and her husband were operating.
Tammy stated that on June 16, her husband said he was going to Dublin to meet with Jones and pay her money. Rogers left and never answered three texts that Tammy sent her husband. He finally returned home at 6:45 a.m.
On June 17, Rogers and Tammy left for Kentucky to visit family. Tammy alleged she knew there was a cooler in the back of the pickup for drinks, but never opened the cooler during the trip.
On June 18, Rogers rented a pontoon boat at the Paris Landing Pontoon Rentals in Tennessee for half a day. Surveillance footage of the rental showed Rogers loading a container onto the front of his boat covered by a blanket at 9:33 a.m. and at 9:52 a.m., the video showed Rogers departing the marina.
On July 1, Texas Ranger Don Stoner met with Rogers at the Tarrant County Sheriff’s office where he admitted he caused the victim’s death in Texas after leaving a Holiday Inn in Stephenville. He admitted the victim was alive when leaving the hotel with him, but became “scared” of the victim and subsequently caused her death.
Rogers stated that what he did with the victim’s body was “dishonorable” in regards to discarding her body in Tennessee, but he wanted the Tennessee charges to go away in exchange for details about the victim’s death.
Rogers said, “I want to tell you why and how I did it.”
He was firm in saying that he was responsible for Jones’ death and discarding her body.
“I own it, and Tammy (wife) had nothing to do with it,” he said.
He claimed he and his wife were engaged with the victim in pornography but that the relationship deteriorated after Jones contacted news stations along with Arlington ISD about the porn production business.
Rogers said, “I have the pieces to the puzzle you need” and that no one else was around when the victim died.
He also stated he tried to “throw off” investigators by texting the victim after the homicide, thinking maybe law enforcement would not think he did it.