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A former Republican Mississippi lawmaker was found, shot dead, outside the burned home where her sister-in-law’s body was found in December.
The former lawmaker, Ashley Henley, was shot in the back of the head as she was believed to be mowing her lawn, The Daily Mail reported.
The 40-year-old’s sister-in-law Kristina Michelle Jones was found dead in a burnt out trailer at the property in rural Yalobusha County, about 70 miles south of DeSoto County, in December last year, and Henley and her husband Brandon were convinced she was murdered.
Henley was at the property – where the couple have erected a large sign with pictures of Jones picture saying ‘I was Murdered’ as part of their campaign – on Sunday when she was killed.
Her body was found at about 10pm. She leaves behind a 15-year-old son.
Police have not formally linked the two deaths but Brandon Henley said he believed his sister and wife may have been killed by the same person.
“’I feel that if something would have been done sooner this would have never happened,” he said to WJTV.
“I’d like for [the police] to do their job because this is the second person someone down there has taken from me. My son doesn’t have a mother,” he said.
“We were trying to get justice for my sister to find out who killed her and see that person brought to justice and taken to jail. I think that person knew what happened, and killed her,” he said to Fox Memphis.
State Rep. Steve Hopkins, who was a friend of former Rep. Henley, said that the FBI should investigate the murder.
“I am thinking the investigation is going to run deep because, from what I understand, goes into another murder investigation as well. And I personally am calling on the FBI to investigate this case,” he said.
“I am just still in shock,” the representative said. “I never thought in a million years. The DeSoto delegation, we are running the gambit of emotions. We are just sad for the family and the friends and everybody who knew Ashley because she touched so many lives.”
The Henleys were married for 17 years and Brandon said that he believes talking about it could help to bring justice for his family.
“If something would have been done sooner, my wife wouldn’t be dead, and my son would still have his mother,” he said. “They called the police and they found her shot in the back of the head in front of the weedeater with her phone still in her hand.”
”She was a great person. She had a great heart. She loved helping people, and she was a voice for people who didn’t have a voice,” he said.
Assistant District Attorney Steven Jubera said that they are going to be starting from the beginning.
“We are going back to square one (on Jones’ case) after receiving an initial Fire Marshal’s report and lab reports,” he said. “… We are looking at that with fresh eyes.
“(Henley) was a nice lady — I met with her previously,” he said. “That family has gone through a lot in the last six months … We will investigate this as thoroughly as possible — do everything possible to get it right.”
In April the former lawmaker expressed her frustration with the investigation into her sister-in-law’s death in a Facebook post.
“We have been silent long enough. For the past three months my family has held ourselves close, grieving in secret, to cooperate with the requests of the Yalobusha County Sheriff’s Department as they proclaimed to be working on the investigation into the murder of my sister-in-law, which occurred at approximately 1.30am on December 26th, 2020,” she said.
“I’ve known Michelle since she was 9 years old. She was truly like my little sister. I will not give up on her.
“We will find out who did this, with or without help from Yalobusha County. She’s not the first to die like this down there, but I’m going to do everything in my power to make sure she’s the last. Her death will not be in vain,” she said.
Currently the Yalobusha County Sheriff’s Office is heading the investigation into the death but the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation has been called in to help.