One dead, another in serious condition in separate stabbings
by John A. Winters
One person was killed and another was listed in serious condition in two separate stabbings since Monday night within the city limits of Newnan.
The Newnan Police Department has arrested suspects in both cases.
Charles Skeen, 57, was pronounced dead at Piedmont Newnan Hospital on Monday, while Christopher Harper, 41, was in serious condition at Atlanta Medical Center, according to Newnan Police Deputy Chief Rodney Riggs.
In the Skeen case, Coweta 911 received a medical call about 6:30 p.m. regarding a person down at 67 Fairmount Drive, the chief said. Skeen was unresponsive and he was transported to the Newnan hospital, where doctors found a puncture wound on his side and notified police.
Milo Rachel, 63, who lives at the Fairmount Drive address, was arrested and charged with murder, the deputy chief said.
"There was some type of altercation and Rachel stabbed Skeen with some type of cutting instrument," Riggs said. "We executed a search warrant and believe we have the weapon used."
A passerby noticed Skeen on the ground outside the residence and another person alerted 911.
"They had known each other for several years and were friends," Riggs said. "There was some disagreement that caused the incident to happen."
When police arrived, Rachel was not at the scene, but showed up about 30 minutes later, the deputy chief said.
In the second stabbing, a woman heard a knock on her door at 23 Henry Street about 1 a.m. and saw her son, Harper, on the porch calling out for help, Riggs said. Coweta 911 responded to a call of a possible gunshot or stabbing wound. It was later learned that Harper was wounded in the left eye with some type of instrument.
During the investigation, police identified a man, Jim Tom Billingslea, who was in the area, as the main suspect.
"We found evidence linking him to the assault," Riggs said. "There were lacerations on him and he was taken to Piedmont hospital, treated and then arrested and taken to the jail."
Billingslea was charged with aggravated assault, according to Coweta County Jail records.