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Lyons man arrested for Statesboro homicide

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Posted: October 31, 2007 1:21 p.m.
Updated: November 15, 2007 5:01 a.m.
    A Lyons man is behind bars, charged with shooting a Hephzibah man to death at a Statesboro night club, police said.
    Thomas Lee Jones, 21, Lyons, was arrested early Wednesday, charged with the murder of Julius Issac McReynolds, 19, Hephzibah, said Statesboro Police Captain L.C. Williams.
    Jones shot McReynolds Saturday night around 11:30 p.m. at Jackson's, a club on Old Register Road, formerly known as Legend's Bar and Grill, he said.
    Maurice Jackson, who owns the establishment, had high praise for the Statesboro Police Department's quick response.
    "I appreciate the action of the Statesboro Police Department," he said. "They have worked very diligently to get it done, and they have really done a good job."
    Jones is charged with murder; aggravated assault; reckless conduct; discharge of a firearm on or near a public highway; discharge of a firearm on property of another; possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, and possession of a deadly weapon at a public gathering, Williams said.
    Jones also has several outstanding warrants in other counties and has a criminal history, including drug trafficking charges, he said.
    McReynolds suffered three gunshot wounds — to the leg, ankle and back — but witnesses, including Jackson, said they heard more than six shots.
    The murder is the second in five years at the location, Williams said. In September 2002, a man was killed by gunfire during an altercation.
    And, an Oct. 2005 shooting left several Georgia Southern University basketball players injured, he said.
    Jackson said he has had no major incidents of violence since he opened for business a year ago, save this most recent murder. Williams said, however, a man reported being injured in April at Jackson's when he tried to break up a fight. Reports regarding that incident state the male victim suffered a gash to the back of his head.
    Jackson's was hosting "hip hop night" and a cookout Saturday. Jackson said he plans to review whether or not he will continue events that traditionally draw large, rowdy crowds.
    Statesboro City Councilman Will Britt, who formerly owned Legend's, and whose brother still owns the property, was on the scene Saturday night when shots rang out. He said he was talking with Statesboro Police Lieutenant Anthony Gore, who stopped at Jackson's on routine patrol, when the shooting occurred.
    Jackson put the place on lockdown when shots were fired. "Nobody goes in, nobody goes out," he said.
    Autopsy reports revealed McReynolds died from the gunshot wound to his back, Williams said.
    "The case is still under investigation, and further arrests are possible," he said.
    Jones is currently being held in the Bulloch County Jail without bond, according to jail records.
    Williams asks anyone with information regarding the shooting please call Detective Terry Briley at (912) 764-1542 or 764-9911. All calls will be confidential, he said.
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