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Updated: 11:29 a.m. Monday, April 14, 2014 | Posted: 6:02 p.m. Sunday, April 13, 2014

Fannin County chief judge killed in motorcycle wreck



By Mike Morris

Authorities Monday filed multiple charges against the man investigators say caused a Sunday afternoon wreck that killed a Fannin County judge.

Fannin Chief Magistrate Judge Ronald Newton was killed in the wreck on Ga. 60 near Mineral Bluff.

According to Fannin Sheriff Dane Kirby and the Georgia State Patrol, Newton and his wife, Rita, were riding a motorcycle when they were struck head-on by an oncoming vehicle about 12:30 p.m.

The GSP said a Mazda Protege driven by Larry Eugene Jones, 60, of Morganton, crossed into the motorcycle's lane, striking the bike.

The judge was killed and Rita Newton was taken to Erlanger Medical Center in Chattanooga, Tenn., in critical condition.

Jones was not injured, and is being held in the Fannin County Detention Center, with charges pending the completion of the investigation by the GSP.

According to the GSP, Jones had been drinking, but refused a state-administered test. A superior court judge signed warrants for authorities to obtain blood from Jones.

Monday morning, Jones was charged with driving under the influence, first degree vehicular homicide, serious injury by vehicle, failure to maintain lane and having an open container of alcohol.


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