published Thursday, March 3rd, 2011

Athens man kills boss, then himself

Police believe an employee shot and killed his boss and then turned the gun on himself Wednesday afternoon in Athens, Tenn.

Darrell Hester, 52, of Englewood, Tenn., and Darrell Franklin, who owns Fay Innovative Waste Solutions, got into a dispute early Wednesday afternoon and Hester stormed out of the office, said Athens Police Chief Chuck Ziegler.

But Hester returned to the office at 401 East Ave. with a handgun and shot Franklin, 48, of Sweetwater, Tenn., then himself, Ziegler said.

When police arrived about 2:30 p.m., both men were dead, Ziegler said. It appears Hester took his boss by surprise, he said.

“I don’t believe there was any evidence of a struggle between the men,” Ziegler said.

The argument was work-related, but Ziegler didn’t know the details of the dispute. Police investigators weren’t available for comment.

Two other employees were at the business when the shooting occurred and one called 911, Ziegler said, but neither was injured.

A recorded message on the company phone Wednesday said the business would be closed for the rest of the week.

Fay Innovative Waste Solution specializes in garbage and waste removal and rental services.

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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