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Donnie Jones avoided any possibility of the death penalty by pleading guilty to first degree murder in the death of Meagan Sharpton Monday morning in Winchester.
"She was raped she was brutally murdered. My heart is open and bleeding and it will never close," said Sharpton.
That heartache began last July, when nursing student Megan Sharpton answered a call from a man who wanted to meet with her about a job sitting with an elderly patient.
"She was excited. She was gonna quit waiting tables and do more in line with what her career choice was," said Sharpton.
Investigators say the whole thing was a ploy by Jones who raped and shot Sharpton then set her body on fire near Tim Fords Lake.
"Our theory was the purpose of the fire is to destroy semen present in her body," said District Attorney Mike Taylor.
Taylor says the fire actually ended up preserving the evidence that became key after investigators linked Jones to the crime through cell phone records and Sharpton's clothing found on his family's property.
"I attribute it to the Lord watching over us but at the same time a lot of hard work," said Franklin County Sheriff Tim Fuller.
Despite the plea, the case may not be completely over.
Prosecutors are still looking at a person of interest who may be an accessory to the crime.
Investigators declined to identify that person but the important thing for Sharpton's family is what happened today when Jones headed to prison for the rest of his life.
"He's a coward and the game is over," said Sharpton.
Authorities also said Monday that Jones tried to contact another woman in the same manner he contacted Sharpton.
Sheriff Fuller says that woman could have been a victim too if she'd met with Jones.
Monday, February 4 2013, 05:49 PM CST
Haslam's chief deputy Claude Ramsey to retire
June 19, 2013 16:41 GMT
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Gov. Bill Haslam says chief deputy Claude Ramsey is retiring at the end of August to spend more time with his family in Chattanooga.
The Republican governor said in a news release on Wednesday that the 70-year-old Ramsey has been integral to his administration on key initiatives that include civil service reform, economic development efforts, workforce development training and improved operation of state government.
Ramsey was elected to the General Assembly in 1972 where he served four years in the House. He was Hamilton County's mayor for 16 years.
His last day on the job is August 31.
Porsche tops in annual survey of vehicle quality
DETROIT (AP) -- Porsche is the top performer in an annual survey of new vehicle quality.
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