N.J. murder suspect now in local jail

COVINGTON - Rodney Young, the New Jersey man charged with the killing of Newton County resident Gary Lamar Jones on March 30, is now incarcerated in the Newton County Detention Center, Sheriff Joe Nichols said.

Young, 40, of 71 Giles St., Bridgeton, N.J., was previously being held in the Cumberland County Jail in Bridgeton. Nichols said Young was booked into the Newton jail sometime Saturday.

He is charged with one count of murder, one count of malice murder and one count of burglary in connection with the slaying of the Red Lobster restaurant employee and former prison guard with the Georgia Department of Corrections. Nichols said those charges were non-bondable offenses and Young would next appear before a Superior Court judge for a first appearance hearing to be scheduled by the District Attorney's Office.

Georgia Bureau of Investigation spokesperson John Bankhead said in an earlier interview that Young was apparently known to the family as a friend of the dead man's mother. The Jones family is originally from New Jersey.

Jones was found dead in his home at 65 Benedict Drive about 11 p.m. March 30 by his mother when she returned from work. There was evidence the home had been forcibly entered. Authorities were able to determine the last phone contact with Jones came about 1:30 p.m.

Investigators have said during the course of their investigation, they learned of a possible connection between Young and Jones.

"Through our investigation and from people we interviewed, his name came up," NCSO Investigator Sharron Stewart said.

Barbara Knowles can be reached at barbara.knowles@newtoncitizen.com.