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Murder suspect pleads not guilty in girlfriend's death
Donnie Irvin

A Gainesville man accused of murdering his live-in girlfriend pleaded not guilty at arraignment Wednesday.

Donnie Jackson Irvin, 53, is charged in the death of Mary Tonya Ward, 42, on March 18.

Irvin’s attorney Larry Duttweiler did not return a request for comment Thursday.

According to the March 31 indictment, Irvin allegedly beat Ward “about the face with a stool and DVD player.”

Hall County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to a domestic dispute call around 8:30 p.m. March 18 to a Dean Street home. Ward was dead inside the home, authorities said.

Irvin faces charges of malice murder, aggravated battery and two counts each of felony murder and aggravated assault.