A Warren County, Tenn., man’s first-degree murder case involving a woman whose burned body was found near a Summitville cave has been bound over to the Coffee County grand jury.
The case stems from the March 9 discovery of 58-year-old Connie Lou Brown’s body at an old rock quarry known as the Summitville caves between Manchester and McMinnville.
14th Judicial District Attorney General Mickey Layne said Monday that the state’s evidence placed Jimmy Bryon Jones, 51, at a home where Brown had been staying and in the area of the caves during the time authorities believe the killing occurred and Brown’s body was dumped and burned.
An autopsy showed Brown suffered blunt-force trauma to her head and was shot once in the chest, Layne said of Friday’s testimony.
Jones, who was arrested in April, was on parole at the time of the slaying and was wearing a monitoring bracelet. Layne said officers testified the device placed Jones at the home where Brown had been staying in Warren County and later the same day at the caves on Fire Tower Road in Coffee County.
Officers testified about interviews with Jones, including his statement that Brown had “pulled a gun on him and that he was just trying to defend himself,” Layne said.
Coffee County investigator Chad Partin testified that he thought Brown was killed elsewhere and brought to Fire Tower Road, Layne said.
Jones initially denied having been to the home or knowing Brown.
The data showed Jones had been to the home in February and that he returned there for two minutes on March 1. Tracking data also showed Jones was on Fire Tower Road at the caves on March 1 from 5:46 to 7:29 p.m. and again from 1:36 to 2:49 p.m. on March 4, according to an account of Friday’s testimony in the Tullahoma News. Brown had been missing several days when her body was found March 9.
At the end of Friday’s hearing, Coffee County General Sessions Judge Jere Ledsinger bound the case over to the Coffee County grand jury. That panel meets next on June 11.
Jones remains behind bars on a $2 million bond.
Ben Benton is a news reporter at the Chattanooga Times Free Press. He covers Southeast Tennessee and previously covered North Georgia education. Ben has worked at the Times Free Press since November 2005, first covering Bledsoe and Sequatchie counties and later adding Marion, Grundy and other counties in the northern and western edges of the region to his coverage. He was born and raised in Cleveland, Tenn., a graduate of Bradley Central High School. Benton ...