York County woman will be committed to mental health department for shooting mother

YORK — The York County woman officials say heard voices before shooting her mother multiple times in June was found not guilty by reason of insanity on two charges today. Tracy Neely Jones will be committed to the state Department of Mental Health for further treatment.

Judge Lee Alford rendered the verdict after Jone waived her right to a jury trial.

Jones was charged with shooting her mother, Tena Neely, in the abdomen and shoulder on June 4. A bullet missed Neely's spinal cord, while another ricocheted off a rib. Neely recently retired as principal of Rawlinson Road Middle School.

Jones was arrested and charged with assault and battery with intent to kill. Jones, who has a history of mental illness, also was charged with possession of a weapon during a violent crime.

Bill and Tena Neely, who sat inches away from their daughter at the hearing, said they were pleased with the outcome. Moments after the judge’s decision, mother and daughter hugged. Then Jones took a step and embraced her father. “We’re glad it’s over,” Bill Neely said.

Neely held open a door for Tena, who walked through without the benefit of a wheelchair or walker. Near fatal wounds received last June left Neely unable to walk without assistance.

For more details, see Friday’s Herald.