published Thursday, April 26th, 2012

Tennessee man charged with murder in 2008 death of Georgia man

A 62-year-old Winchester, Tenn., man has been charged with murder in the 2008 death of a man in Georgia.

Daniel Hank Yokley is charged with felony murder, aggravated nattery, robbery and arson, according to a news release from Whitfield County Sheriff Scott Chitwood.

He is charged in connection with the death of Billy John Malone, 88, whose body was found inside a burned home at 3983 Chattanooga Road in Tunnel Hill, Chitwood said.

On the morning of April 28, 2008, firefighters arrived at the burning house and, while putting out the fire, found a body inside. During an autopsy, the medical examiner discovered a large laceration to the Malone’s face and some facial fractures that were not consistent with a normal fall, the sheriff said.

Investigators believed robbery was the motive for the homicide and the residence was set on fire in an attempt to cover up the crime, Chitwood said. While a suspect was identified, there was not enough evidence to bring formal charges, Chitwood said.

Additional evidence was recently discovered, he said, and this month the Whitfield County grand jury returned an indictment for Yokley, who was arrested today. He is now in Franklin County Jail, awaiting extradition to Georgia.

Yokley had known Malone for several years and had rented a residence in Tennessee from the victm, Chitwood said.

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