Deputies: High school teacher killed by former friend

By: Diane Cho Email
By: Diane Cho Email

April 6, 2007

AUGUSTA, Ga.---A Richmond County high school teacher was found dead yesterday outside his home, which was burned to the ground in what investigators believe was a cover-up.

Richmond County fire investigators say the fire started in two spots in the Tobacco Road home, leading them to believe it was set on purpose.

Long-time educator Danny Jones, known to most around town as the "chicken man" for the birds he kept, was found beaten to death, lying face down just 25 feet away from his back door.

"He was just an honest, down to earth, straightforward person...but he sure didn't deserve none of this," said Jones' longtime friend Frank Williams.

Lt. GB Hannan with the Augusta Fire Department says he believes Jones' home was set on fire to try to cover up a crime.

"I think something happened in the house and Danny crawled outside," Williams said.

Just a couple hours after the fire was set at the home, 56-year-old Paul Franklin Blevins was booked in the Richmond County Jail for driving under the influence, having an open container and several other traffic related charges.

After that arrest, investigators put it all together, and connected him to Jones' death.

Officers say Blevins not only had bloodstains on his clothes but was also driving Jones' stolen pickup truck.

Williams says Jones hired Blevins to do odd jobs around the house but fired him last year after he was caught stealing.

"Danny caught him stealing chickens, selling them to people when he wasn't home and stuff," Williams said. "Danny would leave him over here when he wasn't home to take care of the stuff, and he come to find out he was stealing, selling his chickens."

And now the same man Jones tried to help is accused of murdering the man he once called his friend.

Jones was a world history teacher at Hephzibah High School. He taught freshmen and sophomores. Before he worked there, his friends say he was the headmaster at Edmund Burke Academy.

We're told the reason why Jones had so many chickens at his home is because he sold them and traveled across the country to show them.

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  • by Keisha Location: Hephzibah on Apr 22, 2009 at 09:40 AM
    Mr. jones was my ninth grade world history teacher he is truly missed it didnt feel the same anymore.
  • by STAR Location: Augusta on Oct 9, 2007 at 06:08 AM
    mr jone waz mah teacher...and i couldn't understand why sumone would dat sumthing like dat....i woke up from spring break to go to school...and i wuz goin to tell he this was a new fresh begining...and i have him 1st period....and i look at da room door...and it saiid rest in oeace...and my heart just droopped like i didn't no wat to could u just take mah teacher away...but MR JONES PLZ REST AND PEACE...U WILL BE MISSED
  • by Wells Location: Maryland on Apr 12, 2007 at 12:56 AM
    I first meet Danny when I was 12 years old, I'm 45 now. We both raised and showed the same kind of chickens. Danny, who was a poultry judge, was held in very high regard in Poultrydom circles. Always kind and helpful. He will be missed by many...
  • by Dorsey Location: Augusta on Apr 10, 2007 at 12:55 PM
    Mr. Jones was a wonderful man, and he was a great teacher. He was considerate, and always did the right thing. There will always be a place of memory left at Hephzibah, now that he is gone. He will be missed. I can guarantee you that much.
  • by James (Mitchell) Location: Augusta on Apr 6, 2007 at 07:39 PM
    I was one of his 9th grade students last year at Hephzibah High School(2005-2006). I thought he was a good teacher with good morals, and he cared a lot about what he did. Thank you, Mr. Jones, for all that you have done, and I will miss you.
  • by Suzanne Location: Waynesboro on Apr 6, 2007 at 05:02 PM
    Danny Jones was a very, very kind
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