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Donnie Jones avoided any possibility of the death penalty by pleading guilty to first degree murder in the death of Meagan Sharpton Monday morning in Winchester.
"She was raped she was brutally murdered. My heart is open and bleeding and it will never close," said Sharpton.
That heartache began last July, when nursing student Megan Sharpton answered a call from a man who wanted to meet with her about a job sitting with an elderly patient.
"She was excited. She was gonna quit waiting tables and do more in line with what her career choice was," said Sharpton.
Investigators say the whole thing was a ploy by Jones who raped and shot Sharpton then set her body on fire near Tim Fords Lake.
"Our theory was the purpose of the fire is to destroy semen present in her body," said District Attorney Mike Taylor.
Taylor says the fire actually ended up preserving the evidence that became key after investigators linked Jones to the crime through cell phone records and Sharpton's clothing found on his family's property.
"I attribute it to the Lord watching over us but at the same time a lot of hard work," said Franklin County Sheriff Tim Fuller.
Despite the plea, the case may not be completely over.
Prosecutors are still looking at a person of interest who may be an accessory to the crime.
Investigators declined to identify that person but the important thing for Sharpton's family is what happened today when Jones headed to prison for the rest of his life.
"He's a coward and the game is over," said Sharpton.
Authorities also said Monday that Jones tried to contact another woman in the same manner he contacted Sharpton.
Sheriff Fuller says that woman could have been a victim too if she'd met with Jones.
Monday, February 4 2013, 05:49 PM CST
Man pleads guilty to Memphis officer's murder
May 21, 2013 22:22 GMT
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- A former death row inmate is set to be released from prison after he pleaded guilty to second-degree murder of a Memphis police officer.
Shelby County District Attorney Amy Weirich said Tuesday that she has accepted Timothy McKinney's guilty plea.
McKinney was convicted of first-degree murder for the fatal shooting of Officer Don Williams. The officer was killed outside a comedy club in December 1997.
McKinney appealed and won a new trial, which ended with a deadlocked jury. A third trial earlier this year also ended in a hung jury.
The Commercial Appeal reports that McKinney was sentenced to 15 years in prison. Since he's already served more than 15 years -- including 11 on death row -- McKinney will be released this week.
Williams' family opposed the settlement.
Asia stocks rise as Fed official backs easy policy
BANGKOK (AP) -- Asian stock markets were mostly higher today after investor confidence was boosted by a Federal Reserve official's comments that the U.S. central bank should stick with its super-easy monetary policy.
BC-US--Dow Record-Three Personal Stories, 1st Ld-Writethru,1173
Dow Record: Three tales of ups, downs and changes
AP Photo FX102, FX103
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By SCOTT MAYEROWITZ
AP Business Writer
NEW YORK (AP) -- When the Dow first crossed 14,000, investors were overjoyed. ...
IN THE NEWS: TEENS MOVING TO TWITTER TO DODGE PARENTS, OTHER BORES
WASHINGTON (AP) -- If you're one of those parents who are on Facebook in part to keep an eye on what your kids are up to -- here's a news flash: your kids are on to you and have moved to Twitter.
DOG BEACH WEAR
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- From bikinis to Hawaiian shirts -- it's time to gear up for the beach.