Newton man charged with murder

By By Sheila Blackmon/The Meridian Star
April 26, 2001
A Newton man charged with murder Wednesday in connection with the apparent drug-related shooting death of Fred McDonald is scheduled to make his initial court appearance today.
William Eric Chapman was arrested Wednesday at about 2 p.m. after being brought to the Newton city jail for questioning.
Two Newton County residents found McDonald's body Tuesday at about 11:30 p.m. on a dirt road local residents call the East Church Street Extension, near an intersection at Roy Mann Road. Authorities are awaiting autopsy results to determine the cause of death.
Investigator Danny Knight, Newton County Sheriff Jackie Knight and Newton County sheriff's deputies spent Tuesday night and much of Wednesday investigating the case and interviewing witnesses. Newton city police officers also assisted.
Danny Knight said the autopsy should determine what type of gun was used.
McDonald lived in Copeland Trailer Park.
He said Chapman will be transported to Decatur to the Newton County jail while authorities continue their investigation.
Sheila Blackmon is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. Call her at 693-1551, ext. 3275, or e-mail her at