Jurors hear details of autopsy, recording

There is no way to tell which blow caused veteran educator Danny L. Jones to fall face first to the ground, but the autopsy revealed his attacker stood over him, striking his head again and again.

On Wednesday, a Richmond County Superior Court jury listened to medical evidence of Mr. Jones' injuries and heard a tape-recorded statement from Paul F. Blevins, the man accused in the killing.

On the recording, Mr. Blevins protested his innocence, even as Richmond County sheriff's Investigator Richard Roundtree confronted him with some of the evidence -- his possession of Mr. Jones' vehicle and several personal items, in addition to the blood soaked into his clothing.

"As God as my witness I never killed no one," Mr. Blevins said.

The detective testified that Mr. Blevins' final comment to him was: "That watch is going to get me the chair, ain't it?''

Mr. Blevins, 57, has pleaded not guilty to charges that include murder, armed robbery and arson. His trial began Monday.

He is accused of killing Mr. Jones, a 62-year-old Hephzibah High School teacher whose career included 27 years as headmaster of Edmund Burke Academy.

Mr. Blevins knew Mr. Jones through chickens. Mr. Jones had thousands of birds, including show birds, and he judged show chickens at contests.

On April 5, 2007, Mr. Jones was found dead in the front yard of his Tobacco Road home. Someone had set the house on fire, witnesses testified this week.

Mr. Jones died from massive damage to his skull and brain, testified Dr. Jonathan Eisenstat of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation medical examiner's office.

The pathologist said it was likely that a blood-smeared steel post and a two-by-four found at the homicide scene were used.

In all, Dr. Eisenstat counted at least 13 distinct marks left by blows to Mr. Jones' head. His skull was cracked, and crushed in at least one area.

The brain injuries were consistent with the victim lying still, face down, when he was repeatedly struck, the doctor testified.

Reach Sandy Hodson at (706) 823-3226 or sandy.hodson@augustachronicle.com.