14 people in region slain in 2009

Law officers in Southeast Tennessee and North Georgia outside Hamilton County investigated at least 14 homicides in 2009.

* On Jan. 7, Daniel Kemp, 17, of Resaca, Ga., was charged with murder after authorities found the body of David Lee Esslinger in a wooded area near a Kmart parking lot in Calhoun, Ga.

* On Jan. 29, Athens, Tenn., businessman Jeff Beene caught two men burglarizing his warehouse. He pulled a gun and called police, but they turned the tables and shot him in the head, police said. Daniel Lankey and Jeff Coleman are charged in the case.

* On Feb. 13, deputies in Murray County, Ga., found Stephen Lee Young, 44, stabbed to death. In March, Mr. Young's ex-wife, Rhonda Sosebee Young, was arrested in Calhoun in connection with the death of her ex-husband, according to reports.

* On Feb. 21, four Bledsoe County, Tenn., men were charged in the beating death of Donny Lawson, 43, at a cookout in Pikeville, Tenn. Lonnie Lee Angel, Ray Tullos, Clinton Watson and Preston Parker were charged with murder, according to police reports. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said the fight developed out of an argument between Mr. Lawson and Mr. Angel over a 2008 fire that had killed Mr. Angel's brother, Clyde.

* On March 4, Kenneth Erick Waldrop was charged with first-degree murder in the death of Renee Roissier Miller of Monroe County. Authorities said Mr. Waldrop led them to Mrs. Miller's body, which was in her car in McMinn County, Tenn.

* On March 23, Archie Lynn Defoor, 47, was shot to death in Gordon County, Ga. His 16-year-old stepdaughter, Alison Mary Gresham, was charged in his death.

* On Aug. 1, a Summerville, Ga., woman was charged in the death of her husband, whom police thought might have been beaten with a steel broom. Chattooga Sheriff John Everett said Dora Jane Treadaway, 53, and Randy Treadaway, 52, both were intoxicated.

* Also on Aug. 1, Nathaniel Hester was arrested in Whitfield County, Ga., for allegedly beating his toddler daughter, Piper Hayden Hester, to death in the family's Carbondale home. He is charged with felony murder, cruelty to children and obstruction to an officer, records show.

* On Aug. 16, Aston Smith, 16, died in a friend's arms after being shot in Mosby Park in Cleveland, Tenn. Witnesses said another teen fired into a small crowd. Darius Dewight Twitty, 18, was charged in the death, along with an unnamed 16-year-old.

* On Sept. 10 in South Pittsburg, Tenn., Steve Orr, 42, was shot to death during an argument with 18-year-old Jareese Edwards over car parts, Police Chief Dale Higdon said.

* On Sept. 19, Grady Nichols Jr., 66, was found shot to death on the back porch of his Meigs County home. Six days later, police arrested his daughter, Jennifer Womac, 36, and her alleged hitman, James "Louie" Landers, 45.

* On Oct. 30, Terry Lynn Hagan was charged with murder and aggravated assault after police said he shot his estranged wife in the chest and shot another man in the arm at a home on East State Line Road in Catoosa County, Ga.

* On Nov. 8, in Whitwell, Tenn., Brandi Duba, 27, was beaten with a baseball bat and stabbed as her 4- and 6-year-old children slept in the living room of their home, investigators said. Her boyfriend, Michael Shirley, was a suspect in the case. Authorities found his body 10 days later on the banks of the Sequatchie River, an apparent suicide.

* On Nov. 18, Marvin Boles, of Dayton, Tenn., was arrested after Stanley Simpson was stabbed to death in Mr. Boles' home during an argument. Mr. Boles was holding a bloody knife when police arrived, and Mr. Simpson's body was found in a utility closet. Witnesses told police the two had been friends since grade school.