Originally created 10/25/02

Police charge man in slaying



A Jefferson County construction worker has been charged in last week's slaying of a Thomson man, authorities said Thursday.

Harry L. Kitchens Jr., 28, of Kitchens Road in Stapleton, Ga., was charged with murder and robbery, said Agent Mike Seigler of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

Police say Mr. Kitchens was an acquaintance of 66-year-old Thomas Sammons, who was killed Oct. 16 in his Salem Road home. Agent Seigler said Mr. Kitchens was visiting Mr. Sammons when the killing occurred.

"(Mr. Sammons) was sitting in a chair when he was struck by a 12-inch pipe wrench," Agent Seigler said, adding that the killer got the wrench from Mr. Sammons' home.

The suspect moved Mr. Sammons' body to a back bedroom and took his wallet, $63 and a shotgun, Agent Seigler said.

"Robbery was the motive" for the killing, he said.

Mr. Sammons' stepdaughter discovered the body in a back bedroom.

Mr. Kitchens, who worked at various construction jobs, was arrested Tuesday night after being questioned by officers with the GBI and the McDuffie County Sheriff's Office. He is being held without bond at the McDuffie County jail.

Mr. Sammons operated a trucking company and lived at the home with another daughter, who was driving a truck at the time of her father's death, Agent Seigler said.

Reach Greg Rickabaugh at (706) 828-3851 or greg.rickabaugh@augustachronicle.com.