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"She was raped, she was brutally murdered," says Meagan Sharpton's mom Kelly. "My heart is open and bleeding and it will never close."
That heartache began last July when Meagan Sharpton, who was studying to be a nurse, answered a call from a man who wanted to meet with her about a job sitting with an elderly patient.
"She was excited," says Kelly. "She was gonna quit waiting tables and do more in line with what her career choice was."
Investigators say the whole thing was a ploy by Donnie Jones, who raped and shot Sharpton, then set her body on fire near Tim Ford's Lake.
"Our theory was the purpose of the fire is to destroy semen present in her body," says 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," says Franklin County Sheriff Tim Fuller.
Despite this plea, this case may not be completely over. Prosecutors are still looking at a person of interest, someone they say may have been an accomplice. Investigators declined to say much more, but the important thing for Meagan Sharpton's family is Donnie Jones headed to prison for the rest of his life. Sheriff Fuller says Donnie Jones tried to set up a similar meeting with another woman before he contacted Sharpton. Fuller believes that woman might have been a victim too if she hadn't decided to bring her mother, which prompted Jones to cancel the meeting.
Tuesday, February 5 2013, 12:02 AM CST
Tishomingo County voters OK beer, alcohol sales
May 22, 2013 23:38 GMT
IUKA, Miss. (AP) -- Tishomingo County is the latest Mississippi jurisdiction to legalize alcohol sales.
Voters approved the sale of liquor, wine and beer Tuesday, reports the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal (http://bit.ly/13JCcix).
It wasn't clear referendums would pass until affidavit ballots were counted Wednesday.
With more than half Tishomingo County's voters casting ballots, legalizing alcohol passed by 42 votes, while legalizing beer and light wine passed by 73. The county borders Alabama and Tennessee.
Lawmakers legalized liquor at a proposed resort at the county's Bay Springs Lake in 2010, but it wasn't built.
Greene County voters legalized beer sales last year, while Corinth, New Albany and Senatobia have legalized alcohol sales under a 2012 law that allows cities to hold votes.
Mississippi has 13 remaining counties that allow no beer or alcohol sales.
Bernanke signals Fed to maintain stimulus efforts
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Chairman Ben Bernanke is telling Congress that the U.S. job market remains weak and that it is too soon for the Federal Reserve to end its extraordinary stimulus programs.
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Dow Record: Three tales of ups, downs and changes
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