Man Pleads Guilty To Murder Of Tullahoma Nursing Student
Courtesy: Tullahoma News
By Marcus Washington
TULLAHOMA, Tenn. – The man accused of murdering a Tullahoma nursing student pleaded guilty on Monday.
"It gave me a little piece to know he finally had to admit to something," said Megan Sharpton's mother Kelly Sharpton.
Donnie Jones, 37, pleaded guilty to first degree murder and was sentenced to life in prison without parole. After court proceedings, Jones was transferred from the Franklin County Jail in Winchester to Morgan County Prison.
Police said Jones killed the 24-year-old nursing student in July 2012.
Sharpton's partially burned body was found July 2 on the Awalt Bridge in Franklin County. Her car was found later the same day about 20 miles away. Her death was ruled a homicide and detectives said preliminary reports indicated that Sharpton died of blunt force trauma.
Jones was considered a person of interest for months, but he was not indicted until November. He was charged with first-degree murder, felony murder, two counts of especially aggravated kidnapping and two counts of aggravated rape.
He had previously been arrested and held since September on an unrelated weapons charge.
Authorities said results from DNA evidence sent to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation crime lab led to his arrest.
Sharpton's mother had previously told NewsChannel 5 that Jones had ties to her daughter through his wife. She said her daughter and Naomi Jones carpooled from Tullahoma to nursing school in Murfreesboro.
"He (Jones) gets nothing more of me. I am not spending my energy on where he is or what he is doing, or if he's breathing or if he's not. He gets nothing else from me. The opposite of love is not hate, it's nothingness and that's what he gets from me, nothing," said Kelly.
Authorities said Jones has 21 felony convictions on various charges including burglary, forgery, and attempted rape.