Police: 2 deaths at Athens, TN business apparent murder/suicide

Police suspect a pair of deaths at an Athens business were due to an apparent murder/suicide.

Darrell Franklin, 48 Police believe Franklin was killed by an employee in an apparent murder/ suicide Wednesday afternoon.

ATHENS, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Police suspect a pair of deaths at an Athens business were the result of an apparent murder/suicide on Wednesday afternoon.

Authorities say Darrell Hester, 52, of Englewood, an employee of Fay Innovative Waste Solutions, 401 East Avenue, Athens left the business following a heated argument with the company's owner 48 year-old Darrell Franklin of Sweetwater.

Hester then reportedly returned with a handgun around 2:30 p.m., shooting Franklin in his office before allegedly turning the gun on himself.

Police say two other employees were there during the shooting but neither were injured.

Franklin was a pastor at Trinity Baptist Church in Madisonville for the past 14 years.


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  • by Anonymous Location: Madisonville, TN on Mar 4, 2011 at 11:20 PM
    I am a member of Trinity Baptist Church and our hearts are broken. Darrell was a wonderful Pastor and friend. He loved the Lord with all his heart and soul. He will truly be missed by all that knew him. But we rejoice in knowing that he is with our Savior. What a blessing it was to have known Darrell Franklin. He has made an impact on lives that he will never know and will carry on for many years.
  • by Former employee on Mar 3, 2011 at 07:06 PM
    I worked with both of these men. Mr. Franklin was my former boss, he gave to all he knew. He loved his family & his church. A very kind man to all who knew & didn't know him. Smile always on his face, this world has lost a great man. My prayers are for both family's. Mr. Hester loved his family & others. He always could make you smile. He would do what he could to help others. This is a Tragedy & can't understand how this happened. The Mr. Hester, I knew wouldn't hurt a soul. My heart, thoughts & prayers are with both of these families. They both have lost a father, husband, grandfather, and a friend. Please extend your prayers for both these families.
  • by hannah Location: athens,tn on Mar 3, 2011 at 01:12 PM
    PRAYERS ARE IN THE AIR FOR THE TWO FAMILIES!!! IT'S SO SAD THAT THE GUY HAD TO DO SOMTHING DRASTIC LIKE THIS TO BE RECONIZED:(
  • by Anonymous Location: Unknown on Mar 3, 2011 at 12:28 PM
    This is such a tragedy to hear about. Mr. Franklin was a good man and a joy to work FOR but......Mr. Hester was a good man also and a joy to work WITH. Mr. Hester was a person also whose life was lost in this tragedy. He left behind a wife, children, and grandchildren also. Mr. Hester was not as outgoing of a person as Mr. Franklin but his life was lost also. We need to remember BOTH families in our prayers. These two men were friends for a very long time and had been through a lot together. We will never know what really happened but two lives were lost here not just one. Both lives lost are important!
  • by Vicki Location: Knoxville on Mar 2, 2011 at 10:44 PM
    Prayers going out for the family.He was a wonderful pastor.I remember him preachingat Peakland in Decatur one night talking about his trip to the Holy land.He spoke of the tomb and talked of the day that he would cross over the Eastern gate due to not being able to at that time due to the fighting. You could tell that he really Loved the Lord and he will be greatly missed but He is safe in The Lord's arms now.
  • by Renee Location: athens,tn on Mar 2, 2011 at 09:02 PM
    What a tragic loss for both familys! As human nature would allow us to point fingers as blame we all need to remember that Mr. Hesters family is also a victim in this situation. He left behind a wife,children, and grandchildren that he loved and adored.This is totally out of character for Mr. Hester and his family is in just as much shock as anyone!! Its extremely devastating that the Hester family had to find out about the horriable incedent by watching the 6oclock news! It shouldn't be made public until the families are notified...but thats our Athens police department for you!!!We need to remember the Franklin family in prayer for they have lossed a great man of God! We need to pray for our country cause it has been takin over by satan and his demons! People the end is near and the devil is workin as hard as he can to destroy people!
  • by Susan on Mar 2, 2011 at 07:59 PM
    Prayers to the family...visited their church before and Darrell had an amazing spirit and I know is with Our Father in Heaven
  • by Lora Location: Knoxville on Mar 2, 2011 at 07:29 PM
    I was an employee of Mr. Franklins at the knoxville office, he will be greatly missed. He was a very respectful person and a good boss. My prayers go out to his family. May GOD be with you all in your time of lose. A Former Employee & Repected Friend.
  • by Angie Location: Elizabethtown, KY on Mar 2, 2011 at 07:27 PM
    Darrell was my Uncle. He will be missed and this is just a tragedy....such an terrible tragedy.
  • by Ken Location: Knoxville on Mar 2, 2011 at 05:59 PM
    Thoughts and prayers go out to the family of Darrell Franklin . He was a great husband and father. He was also a great Christian and loved the Lord. He will be greatly missed here but the Lord is welcoming him with open arms. It is a huge lose for all that new him and I am thankful for having known him.

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