published Tuesday, November 6th, 2012

Man arrested in kidnapping, slaying case in Franklin County

Donnie Frank Jones Jr.
Donnie Frank Jones Jr.
Photo by Contributed Photo /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

A Franklin County Grand Jury indicted a 37-year-old Tullahoma man in connection to the slaying of Erika Megan Sharpton, said Franklin County Sheriff Sgt. Chris Guess in a released statement.

Donnie Frank Jones, Jr. was arrested after a four-month investigation by Franklin County Sheriff’s Office and Tennessee Bureau of Investigation investigators. He was taken into custody in Coffee County. A grand jury indicted him Monday.

Sharpton’s body was found burning on Awalt Road near the bridge over Tims Ford Lake at about 1 a.m. CDT on July 2 by a passing motorist. Initially, the motorist thought the fire was just a grass fire.

About 15 to 20 miles away from her body, Sharpton’s 1995 Ford Mustang was discovered at Three Forks Bridge Road in Bedford County on the same day.

An autopsy report revealed she died from blunt force trauma. She was 24.

Jones faces charges of first-degree murder, felony murder, two counts of especially aggravated kidnapping and two counts of aggravated rape.

He remains in the Franklin County Jail without bond until his first appearance scheduled at 9 a.m. Nov. 16 in Franklin County Circuit Court.

Tullahoma Police Department, Bedford County’s Sheriff’s Office and the 12th Judicial District Attorney’s Office also assisted with the case.

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