This week Murder Comes to Town investigates the disturbing case of Megan Sharpton, who was raped, murdered and burned.
It was July 2012 and a motorist was driving down a back road in Franklin County when they spotted something burning at the side of the road.
When police arrived it was found to be the body of a young woman, Erika Megan Sharpton of Tullahoma. Megan’s car, a red 1995 Ford MUstang, was found near Highway 64 on Three Forks Bridge Road.
The 24-year-old was descibed as a bright star and a caring soul, she was studying a nursing program at a state college and often helped out in the commmunity.
An autopsy revealed the horrific details of Megan’s death in that she had been struck on the back of the head with a blunt object, shot in the face and then set alight whilst she was still alive. The examination showed smoke in her lungs, meaning she was still alive when she was set ablaze.
She’d also been raped and semen was found, even more distrubingly the accelerant used to burn her was found to have thrown around her crotch area.
It turned out it was Megan’s very caring nature that the killer used to lure her to a remote spot. Megan’s boyfriend related how a man had called Megan to arrange for her to look after a senior, something she was always keen to help with.
A note was found in Megan’s hard writing with directions to the remote spot where her car was found. Later police matched her phone location records to that and the location where her body was found. This was then linked to local man Donnie Jones and he was arrested by police.
In Novermber 2012 37-year-old Jones was charged with first-degree murder, rape and aggravated kidnapping but pled not guilty. In February 2013 Jones, also of Tullohoma, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder, he was sentenced to life.
However, the tragedy was not over as in November of the same year Megan’s mother Kelly Sharpton took her own life.
Murder Comes to Town airs at 10PM on Investigation Discovery.