Pasco County Man Sentenced to 50 Years in Prison for the Murders and Attempted Murder of his Family Members

Jason Rios from Pasco County plead guilty to two counts of second-degree murder and one count of attempted murder on Monday, October 22. He avoided going to trial by pleading guilty.

In 2015, Jason beat his mother to death with a tire iron and did the same to his nine- year-old niece. He brutally beat another niece, who thankfully survived. Jason lived with his parents, Angela and Ernesto, and their grandchildren at the time of the murders. He was 23 years old.

When Ernesto heard screaming while he was in the shower, he knew something was wrong. He rushed out of the shower to find his two granddaughters covered in blood. He witnessed Jason assaulting one of his granddaughters with a blunt object. He fought his son off of his granddaughter, got the weapon, and ran outside. He exclaimed to the neighbor that he needed to call the police. The neighbor replied saying he already had. Ernesto recalls looking at Jason and noticing a blank expression, pupils dilated, as if he were asleep. He shook his son and Jason’s response was, “What did I do, Dad? What did I mess up?”

The SWAT team arrived, which prompted Jason to enter a vacant home next door and barricade himself inside. After the long standoff ended, Jason was found to have injured himself using a power drill on his head.

In court, Jason told the Judge that he is mentally ill, suffering from Schizophrenia.

Jason had looked after his nieces many times. Their mother was battling a drug addiction and had a criminal background, resulting in her children being in their grandparent’s custody. Jason helped his niece sell chocolate bars for a school fundraiser the night before. He often looked after the children when his parents weren’t around.

His family expressed their regret in not taking his condition seriously enough. His father apologized to Jason for not taking proper care of him, explaining that he was occupied caring for his wife, a double amputee, and his grandchildren. Jason’s sister also apologized to Jason, stating in court that she should have made him take his medication.

Jason’s niece, who hardly survived the tragedies that took place in 2015, is now in foster care. Her mother is still struggling with a drug addiction.

Jason was sentenced to 50 years in prison. The Judge recommended that he continue mental health treatment during his sentence.

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