A 25-year-old Jones County man drew a life sentence Monday after he pleaded guilty to murder in the death of his 76-year-old neighbor.
Tyrone Terrill Richardson, of Hungerford Road, pleaded guilty to murder, armed robbery, false imprisonment and burglary in the Oct. 11, 2008, slaying of Joseph Kitchens, said Fred Bright, district attorney for the Ocmulgee Judicial Circuit. Richardson entered his plea during a hearing in Jones County Superior Court.
A second man, Terrence Sanchez Burney, 21, also of Hungerford Road, faces the same charges and is scheduled to go to trial in October. Richardson will be called as a witness for the prosecution.
Bright said Richardson and Burney broke into Kitchens home while the older man wasnt at home. Kitchens returned and the two tied him to a high-backed kitchen chair using duct tape. After taking two shotguns, Richardson and Burney left.
Six days later, on Oct. 17, Kitchens sister became concerned that she hadnt heard from her brother. She called Jones County deputies, who went to his home to check on him. Deputies entered the house and found Kitchens dead, still tied to the chair, Bright said.
An autopsy concluded that Kitchens died of prolonged physical restraint complicated by high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
A couple days before Kitchens body was found, deputies had stopped Richardson in traffic and found two shotguns in his trunk that he couldnt explain. After finding Kitchens body, deputies compared serial numbers on empty gun boxes in his house to the guns in Richardsons trunk, and they matched, Bright said.
Richardson told deputies Burney was the one who broke into Kitchens house, using a hammer. His statement led to Burneys arrest.
In 2011, Richardson and Burney also were indicted in the 2008 slaying of Thomas Griff Griffis.
Griffis was found dead with a knife in his chest at his Railroad Street barbershop in Gray on July 25, 2008. An autopsy later revealed he died of two gunshot wounds.
Bright has dismissed the murder charge against Richardson in Griffis death, citing insufficient evidence. The murder charge against Burney still is pending.
To contact writer Amy Leigh Womack, call 744-4398.