One Cumberland County man is dead and the man accused of shooting him apprehended in Georgia following an incident that occurred Sunday in a remote southwest section of the county.

Dead at the scene was Billy Ray Jones, 63, 25 Christian Rd., who, according to a sheriff’s department press release, suffered one gunshot wound.

Arrested later was Thomas Mack Arnold Sr., 38, who in the past has listed an address of Clinton St., Harriman. It is not known at press time whether Arnold has waived extradition back to Tennessee to face a charge of first-degree murder.

According to a press release issued by Sgt. Gary Howard released mid-morning Monday, Deputies responded to a 911 call shortly before 6:22 p.m. Sunday at a residence on Christian Rd. near the intersection of Brewer Rd. 

Christian Rd. connects Pugh Rd. and Brewer Rd., just south of Lantana Rd. near the Bledsoe County line.

First officers on the scene discovered Jones’ body and the crime scene was secured. Investigators with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office were called to the location and were joined by personnel from the 13th Judicial Circuit District Attorney General’s Office.

Early in the investigation, information pointed to the identity of a suspect in the shooting and a regional be-on-the-lookout was broadcast to police agencies.

Around 3:10 a.m., Crisp County, GA, sheriff’s deputies conducted a traffic stop on a 1997 Mercury Grand Marquis and took Arnold into custody without incident. It is believed Arnold was traveling I-75 en route to Florida when arrested.

Arnold is familiar with local law enforcement officers. In May 2018, Arnold pleaded guilty to an information charging felony evading arrest and reckless endangerment. The charges stem from the theft of a motorcycle and resulting pursuit by Crossville Police.

Arnold was listed on the General Sessions Court docket for a Monday appearance to answer to two charges of driving on a revoked license.

Jones’ body was transported to the state Medical Examiner’s Office in Nashville for an autopsy and evidence seized transported to the TBI crime lab.

Once returned to Cumberland County, an appearance in General Sessions Court will be set to address the issue of whether Arnold is going to hire an attorney or if he needs one appointed to represent him. The issue of bond may also be taken up at that time.


Michael Moser may be reached at