published Friday, September 28th, 2012

'Person of interest' in Tullahoma nursing student murder is arrested on unrelated gun charges

The man identified earlier in the slaying of Tullahoma nursing student Erika Megan Sharpton as a "person of interest" has been arrested on unrelated gun charges after a search of his home on Thursday, according to prosecutors in the case.

Donnie Jones, of Tullahoma, is charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm stemming from a rifle found at his home during a police search, 12th Judicial District Attorney Mike Taylor said this morning.

Jones is being held on $500,000 bond.

The victim’s mother, Kelly Sharpton, said earlier this month that Jones had made threatening comments to a Sharpton family member at a high school football game and she was worried that he could have been responsible for some vandalism at another family member’s home.

She has continued to call for authorities to make an arrest.

Taylor said authorities found the firearm while executing a search warrant at Jones’ home on Thursday in connection with the homicide investigation. He said federal Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms agents assisted in the operation and federal gun charges could arise from the search, Taylor said.

"The (investigators') indication was that there were some other items seized at the scene pursuant to the search warrant that they will be submitting to the TBI lab for analysis for possible connection to the homicide," Taylor said.

about Ben Benton...

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 ...

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