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Winder husband indicted in July killing

WINDER -- A Barrow County grand jury indicted a Winder man this week on charges he killed his wife and mother of his four children.

The grand jury returned an indictment charging James Lynn Jr., 42, with murder, felony murder and aggravated assault, said Barrow County District Attorney Brad Smith.

Investigators believe Lynn fatally beat his wife, Tonya Faye Lynn, 38, to death in late July. He admitted to the killing and led police to the body at the bottom of a well near the Gwinnett-Barrow line, Winder police have said.

Jurors heard the case Monday. Smith said he could not speculate on when a trial for James Lynn might be held.

James Lynn had wed Tonya, a cardiovascular pulmonary technician at Athens Regional Medical Center, in 1995, and the couple settled in Winder.

The search for Tonya began when her niece told authorities she'd received a mysterious text message from Tonya's phone, saying, "take care of my kids." Investigators believe that text message was actually sent by the victim's husband.

The niece led authorities to Tonya's Chevy Tahoe, parked at a nearby library. Surveillance video caught James Lynn parking that vehicle there and hopping into another car, police said at the time.

Police had fielded several domestic violence complaints about James Lynn over the years.

He was charged with battery and obstruction of law enforcement May 14 after an argument with his wife. Police said Tonya Lynn had moved out of the house and planned to divorce him, until they reconciled a few weeks prior to her death.

A Barrow judge granted Tonya Lynn a protective order earlier this year, which was lifted at her request.