A Lumpkin County man was killed Monday when a property dispute that had gone on for more than 20 years escalated into an argument, according to a sheriff’s investigator.
Deputies found Jewell Crane, 76, dead just before 10 a.m. Monday when they responded to a 911 call about a dispute between neighbors, according to Darren Martin, an investigator with the Lumpkin County Sheriff’s Office.
Crane’s neighbor, Louis Melvin Dempsey, 73, was arrested and has been charged with murder and aggravated assault in the death.
The slaying was the first of this year in Lumpkin, Martin said.
The two neighbors lived on Mill Creek Road, located northwest of Dahlonega between Ga. 9 and Ga. 52. The road meanders around the hills near Little and Sheep Wallow mountains and is not far from a mountainous area of northern Lumpkin County called Nimblewill that is popular with off-road enthusiasts.
Crane and Dempsey recently had been discussing having outside surveyors coming in to solve their ongoing property line dispute, Martin said. The men’s dispute over the property line was "nothing new" and had been going on for more than 20 years, he said.
The body has been sent to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation for an autopsy. Martin declined to discuss the cause of death, pending autopsy results. Martin also declined to discuss whether any weapon was found or if Dempsey was armed when deputies arrived because he said interviews are still being conducted in the case.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation has joined the Lumpkin County Sheriff’s Office in investigating.