published Friday, April 27th, 2012

Police charge man in Whitfield County slaying

Nearly four years after discovering the body, police have arrested a 62-year-old man indicted for murder in Whitfield County, Ga

Daniel Hank Yokley, of North High Street, Winchester, Tenn., is being held in the Franklin County Jail on charges of felony murder, aggravated battery, robbery and arson. Police arrested him Thursday.

A news release from Whitfield County Sheriff Scott Chitwood details some of the investigation:

On April 28, 2008, the Whitfield County 911 Center received a house fire call for a blaze at 3983 Chattanooga Road in Tunnel Hill, Ga.

Firefighters found the body of Billy John Malone, 88, a retired Tennessee state trooper, on the living room floor. An autopsy at the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Crime Lab revealed Malone had sustained a “large laceration” and “facial fractures.”

Both a Whitfield County and a GBI investigator were assigned to the case, classified as a homicide.

Recently discovered evidence led investigators to seek an indictment from the Whitfield County grand jury, according to the release. On Thursday, the grand jury indicted Yokley, who previously had rented a residence from Malone.

about Todd South...

Todd South covers courts, poverty, technology, military and veterans for the Times Free Press. He has worked at the paper since 2008 and previously covered crime and safety in Southeast Tennessee and North Georgia. Todd’s hometown is Dodge City, Kan. He served five years in the U.S. Marine Corps and deployed to Iraq before returning to school for his journalism degree from the University of Georgia. Todd previously worked at the Anniston (Ala.) Star. Contact ...

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