STOCKTON (CBS13) – The body found rotting in a Stockton apartment early this week is that of Veronica Jones, according to Stockton Police.
Devon Omar Epps was in court on Thursday where he was formally charged with the beating and murder of the body that was found rotting in the bathroom tub of his downtown Stockton apartment.
Epps was evicted from his apartment in the 500 block of E. Channel Street Sunday and the apartment manager found the body in his third-floor apartment on Monday. He was arrested Tuesday night.
The mental state of Epps has been brought into question after he acted strange during the hearing. When the charges were handed down, Epps started laughing and shaking his head. Then Epps yelled, to no one in particular, “He’s the one who set me up.”
Based on Epps’ previous undisclosed mental health issues while on parole and his behavior in court, the judge suspended the arraignment hearing until doctors can evaluate Epps’ mental state.
Epps was released from a mental facility earlier this year, but Jones’ family members say he should have stayed put.
“Demented, sick behavior and I think mental health needs to be held accountable for the patients they just let on the street,” said Jones’ brother, Isaac Zuniga of Modesto.
Prosecutors say it could be a couple months before Epps’ mental evaluation is complete.
Police say Jones’ face had been beaten beyond recognition.
The homicide was the city’s 56th this year, topping the previous record set in 1992.
Correction: We had previously reported that the body was Epps’ sister.