WATCH: Former DA discusses what new evidence means in 45 year old cold case

Published 8:35 pm Friday, December 10, 2021

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When Kyle Clinkscales’ car was found earlier this week, the Troup County Sheriff’s Office reopened the 45-year-old cold case.

The new evidence created new questions that plagued the Troup County community since Clinkscales’ disappearance.  No one was ever charged for the murder of Clinkscales. However, one Troup County resident, Jimmy Earl Jones, was charged with two counts of giving false statements in 2007.

Pete Skandalakis, the district attorney at that time, said this new evidence will not change the guilty verdict in Jones’ case.

“Based on the information that was available at the time, it is obvious that Mr. Jones lied to law enforcement. He either was there or he wasn’t there. Either way, he’s been giving false statements,” Skandalakis said.

“It really doesn’t impact what happened in Jimmy Earl Jones’ case because we now have more information. You can’t go back and look at what happened in 2005 and try to decide in 2021 exactly what the truth is.”

Judge Allen B. Keeble presided over the sentencing and commented then on the support the LaGrange community had for the Clinkscales in the case.

“There is no doubt that the Clinkscales have the love and affection of a lot of people in this community and a lot of people who support them, and rightly so, in all that they’ve gone through over the years,” Keeble said. “But still, we don’t try the case based on public opinion.”

As for the future of the Clinkscales’ case, Skandalakis said it will remain open and that he has faith in the Troup County Sheriff’s Office.

“I know that the investigation will remain open until we can get some closure about how Mr. Clinkscales died,” Skandalakis said.

“I have faith that Sheriff Woodruff will follow any leads that he has. Of course, as time goes by, more and more of the people that were around, if not all of them, have passed away.”

Sheriff James Woodruff said in a press conference there are many things he hopes to discover with the recovery of Kyle’s car.

“I want to see what the GBI finds in the car. How many bones they find. Do they find a skull?  Is there something we can take to the crime lab to determine if there was foul play? Was he murdered and left there? Did he run off the road and wreck there?” Woodruff said. “Those are things we hope to discover, but it’s been 45 years.”