Tullahoma Man Who Pled Guilty To Murder Asking For New Trial
Donnie Jones of Tullahoma entered a plea of guilty on Feb 4, 2013, in the murder of Megan Sharpton. Her partially-burned body was discovered on the morning of July 2, 2012, off Awalt Road near Tims Ford Lake in Franklin County.
After pleading guilty he filed a motion later the same month with the Franklin County Circuit Court Clerk’s Office to withdraw the plea and in October of 2013 his new court-appointed attorney, Sam Hudson of Dunlap, filed an amended withdrawal motion asking for a new trial. The motion for a new trial claims that Jones was coerced into pleading guilty to the murder charge by his attorney at the time.
The motion for a new trial will be heard by Franklin County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Smith.
Jones was arrested Nov. 5, 2012, on a charge of first degree murder, especially aggravated kidnapping and aggravated rape of Sharpton.
In addition to claiming that he was coerced, he also claims that there is evidence that proves he was at another location at the time of the murder and that his former attorney Joseph Ford told him that information would not matter.
According to the motion, Jones said authorities told him if he did not plead guilty they would find a way to convict his wife, as well.
Jones’ lawyer will attempt to convince the judge that a new trial should be granted.
Jones is currently housed in the Morgan County Prison, serving life in prison. (Some information provided by the Tullahoma News)