Family of slain TN nursing student speak out - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Family of slain TN nursing student speak out

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Erika Megan Sharpton was raped and murdered four months ago. (Source: Franklin County Sheriff's Dept.) Erika Megan Sharpton was raped and murdered four months ago. (Source: Franklin County Sheriff's Dept.)
Donnie Jones Jr. (Source: Franklin County Sheriff) Donnie Jones Jr. (Source: Franklin County Sheriff)

Authorities arrested a man in connection with Megan Sharpton's murder in September.  

Carrie Taylor, Sharpton's sister, talks about the summer when she found out her younger and only sister was dead.

"July 2nd was definitely one of the worst days of my life," she said.  "I received the phone call and my world was turned upside down."

Sharpton's body was found on the side of the road near Winchester, Tennessee.  She'd been sexually assaulted and set on fire.

Months after the tragedy, 37-year-old Donnie Jones Jr. was arrested and charged with first degree murder, two counts of especially aggravated kidnapping, and two counts of aggravated rape.

Taylor said that Jones was an acquaintance of her sisters.  She knew his wife from her nursing program.

Taylor describes her sister as a very trusting person and said she was with Jones back in July to try and better her future. 

"She was under the impression that there was a job opportunity," Taylor said.  "So she was going to help her family to help herself, to help this so called person. She was doing it to better everyone around her, and she got taken advantage of."

Now Taylor wants to keep her sister's memory alive by warning others.

"My goal is to be Megan's voice and to let other's become more aware that it's right here and that it's very real, and if I could help one other person from what my sister had to go through, then that's me speaking for her," she said.

With Jones' court hearing approaching, Taylor wants one thing for her sibling.

"I hope that there is peace for Megan," she said.  "I hope that there is no justice and I know that sounds crazy.  I just hope that it never happens again. She may not be here in flesh and blood, but she's here.  Her soul and her spirit are still here and they always will be."

Sharpton's family started a nursing scholarship in her memory.

Jones is being held in the Franklin County Jail with no bond. He is set to appear in circuit court on Friday at 9 a.m.

Copyright 2012 WAFF. All rights reserved.

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