Newnan man pleads not guilty in Jonesboro killing

By Ed Brock

Timothy William Mathis says he is not guilty of murder in the killing of a Jonesboro man.

Mathis, 34, entered the plea on Monday in Clayton County Superior Court. He is charged with murder in connection with the Sept. 18, 2004 shooting of 64-year-old Jonathan Roy Worley. His trial is scheduled to begin on Oct. 17.

On the day of the shooting Mathis was at Worley's home on Dogwood Trail to use the phone when an argument broke out, according to testimony at Mathis' preliminary hearing. Mathis told police the argument started when Worley made a comment about Mathis' sister dating African Americans, said Clayton County Police Detective Taylor Davis at that hearing.

After a struggle Worley went for one of several guns he kept in the house but Mathis beat him to it, Davis testified. The two men struggled for the gun and it discharged, hitting Worley in the chest. Mathis then knocked Worley down, grabbed a pillow and fired the gun through the pillow, again hitting him in the chest.

Mathis then beat Worley some more before taking Worley's truck which he had to abandon later after it stalled in a section of Atlanta that had been flooded by remnants of Hurricane Ivan. He was captured after calling his girlfriend to tell her he was at a bus station waiting on a bus for Florida.

The girlfriend called police who arrested Mathis at the bus station.

Mathis was originally described as a "drinking buddy" of Worley but Worley's daughter Judy Barton denies that. Barton said previously that she thinks Mathis, who had been pestering her father ever since Worley hired him to do some yard work, was actually at Worley's house to rob him.