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November 9, 2009

Man’s death ruled a homicide

FAIRVIEW — State forensic examiners on Monday officially ruled last week’s death of a Fairview man a homicide.

The body of J.T. “Jimmy” Hayes, 72, the former owner of Rack and Cue in Cullman, was found around 3:20 p.m. Friday on the floor of his home on Pearson Street.

“He died of blunt force trauma to his body,” said Cullman County Sheriff Tyler Roden. “There were no gun shots or stab wounds. It appears he was beaten, but we don’t know by what.”

Roden said he did not know how many blows Hayes’ body might have received.

“There’s no way to make that determination,” he said.

Cullman County Coroner Gary Murphree determined Hayes’ time of death somewhere between late Thursday or mid-Friday.

There are currently no suspects in the case.

“Right now, we can’t rule anyone out,” Roden said.

Roden said it appeared a person or persons broke into Hayes’ home.

“Part of the door was knocked loose,” Roden said.

He added that it appeared a few items were taken from the residence.

“But because of investigation reasons, I can’t release what they were,” Roden said.

Though there are some indications a robbery took place, Roden said he could not confirm that was the motive for the murder.

“Even with that in mind, we can’t come to any hard, fast conclusions without some speculation,” Roden said.

Hayes’ death marked the second reported murder in Cullman County this year.

“I’m confident we’ll do all we can to find out who the perpetrator is,” Roden said. “It certainly is a top priority case at this time.”

Anyone with possible information about the murder is encouraged to call the Cullman County Sheriff’s Office at 775-7170.

‰ Patrick McCreless can be reached by e-mail at patrickm@cullmantimes.com or by telephone at 734-2131 ext. 270.

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