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Man accused of killing Iowa City taxi driver is returned to Johnson County

IOWA CITY – The father of Ricky Lillie had strong words Thursday for the man accused of killing his son.

“I hope they rot in prison,” said Hubert Lillie.

Iowa City police announced on Wednesday they had obtained an arrest warrant for Curtis C. Jones, 41, of Mt. Pleasant. Jones is accused of first-degree murder for the death of Lillie, 46, of Iowa City. Jones was moved from the Washington County Jail to the Johnson County Jail on Thursday and is expected to make his initial appearance on the murder charge Friday morning.

Police said Jones — originally identified as a person of interest in the case — was identified entering Lillie’s cab sometime around 11 p.m. June 27. The two drove non-stop to the 500 block of Ernest Street where police said Jones shot Lillie in the head. Lillie’s body was discovered during the early morning hours of June 28 when a fellow Yellow Cab driver found him and requested a welfare check.

Authorities said several items belonging to Lillie are missing, but would not identify what those items are. Police have also said they cannot comment on whether the gun used in the shooting has been recovered.

Jones was already in custody at the time the warrant was issued on charges relating to stealing a car from Keota. According to court records, Jones stole a vehicle parked in front of Fountain Fitness in Keota just before 9 a.m. June 27 – the day Lillie was later killed. Jones was later captured on video surveillance at the Mid-Town Motel in Burlington exiting the stolen vehicle around 1 a.m. on June 28.

Hubert Lillie said he was relieved an arrest had been made in his son’s death. He said he plans on attending Jones’ future court dates.

First-degree murder is a Class A felony punishable by a life sentence.