published Tuesday, February 12th, 2013

Whitfield man pleads guilty to two murder charges, gets life (with video)

Sonny Neal
Sonny Neal
Misty Watson, The Daily Citizen

The Varnell, Ga., tanning salon owner Sonny Neal — charged in the butchering deaths of his wife and her grandfather — pleaded guilty today to murder charges in Whitfield County Superior Court.

Judge William Boyette sentenced Neal to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

On May 24, 2012, Neal admitted he stabbed his wife Jessica Neal to death and beat her grandfather Don Shedd to death. He then led police on a week-long man hunt.

See tomorrow's Times Free Press for complete details.

about Joy Lukachick Smith...

Joy Lukachick Smith is the city government reporter for the Chattanooga Times Free Press. Since 2009, she's covered crime and court systems in North Georgia and rural Tennessee, landed an exclusive in-prison interview with a former cop convicted of killing his wife, exposed impropriety in an FBI-led, child-sex online sting and exposed corruption in government agencies. Earlier this year, Smith won the Malcolm Law Memorial Award for Investigative Reporting. She also won first place in ...

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