Family says Jonesboro mayoral campaign manager was longtime chess buddies with his killer

The family of a disabled veteran says he was friends with his accused killer.

Coybern Jones Jr.’s family tells Channel 2′s Tom Jones that the victim and the man charged with his murder often played chess together.

The family says the murder caught them by surprise.

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“The family, his immediate children, they are all perplexed, wanting answers,” Jones’ sister, Earva Jones Scott, said. “He was not a stranger.”

They are stunned that the person arrested for killing her 67-year-old brother is someone they knew well.

“What really bothers us is that, myself included, have all sat down with this man,” Jones Scott said.


Jonesboro police arrested 73-year-old Joe Link three days after they say he shot and killed Coybern Jones Jr. on Oct 30. Jones’s sister said the two were longtime friends.

“How (does) one do that to a friend who has sat in your home and played chess ... and eat your food and laugh and talk?” she asked rhetorically.

Police say the two had gotten into an argument at a gas station Jones likes to hang out at

Jones was then found dead not far away near a cemetery on Woodland Drive. His family placed flowers and an American flag where he died.

“He loved people and he wanted to help,” his sister explained.

Jones worked on then-mayoral candidate Arlene Charles’ campaign, even though she never asked him to. He drove around with her signs asking people to support her.

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Scott says her brother was a disabled veteran who had PTSD. She says he was prone to sudden outbursts, but she says he was never violent.

“He would not have hurt a flea,” his sister said.

Scott says her family wants justice. She thanked the police for making a quick arrest.

“It was a sense of relief,” she said.

Link is being held without bond in the Clayton County Jail on murder charges. Police haven’t said what was at the root of the argument between the two.