Murder victim’s friends take the stand

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WHITE CLOUD, Mich.-- The trial continues in Newaygo for the Jones brothers who are accused of killing 18-year-old Shannon Siders.  Her body was found months after she went missing in Manistee National Forest in 1989, and then exhumed in 2012 as the search for her accused killers continued.

Police say Shannon was last seen riding in a car with brothers, Paul and Matthew Jones who were 17 and 19 at the time. They were finally arrested and charged last year.

Siders’ friends, Melissa Forest and Carol Grant, were asked to recall one specific day 25 years ago.

In Carol Grant’s case her answers throughout the  years have changed according to transcripts from interviews in 1989 and 2011.

Grant recalled her ‘then-boyfriend,’ Paul Jones and her dropping off Siders at her home before they went to Grant’s home to watch a movie. A short time later Siders called Grant for a ride to a party. Grant declined, because she had to babysit.

“I mentioned to Shannon that Paul was at my house and she could ask him,” said Grant.

Grant passed the phone to Jones. According to Grant, Jones declined to give Siders a ride. Jones left Grant’s home a half an hour later. Months went by and that is when Grant ran into Jones at a party. She confronted him about what he did that night when he left her house. Grant says he told her that he went home, and when asked a second time he claimed he didn’t recall what he did.

Melissa Forest, another friend, recalled the exact moment she knew something was wrong.

“I called her house and her father answered the phone. I had asked for her [Siders], and he told me she had not come home the night before, and he was worried,” said Forest.

This was day two of the trial. Court is expected to go until next Friday.

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