Mississippi man killed wife, friends after they wouldn’t let him drive drunk
A Mississippi man allegedly killed his wife and friends when his wife wouldn’t let him drive home drunk from her birthday party, officials said.
Michael Barnhill, 30, was celebrating his wife Marlee Barnhill’s 27th birthday at a friend’s home in Carroll County on Friday, Fox affiliate WLOV-TV reported, citing the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office.
The man, according to Sheriff Clint Walker, became “drunk and belligerent during the course of the event” while the group of friends were “having a nice time together.”
Marlee, upset with the way her husband was acting, took away his keys “to prevent him driving away in his drunk state.” The sheriff said she “was trying to do the right thing to protect his life and the lives of other drivers.”
But when his keys were taken away, Michael allegedly got a pistol from his truck, slapped a cigarette out of Marlee’s hand and shot her in the chest, according to investigators. Michael then allegedly shot the party hosts, Jim Harrell, 44, and his wife, Brooks Harrell, 39, when they tried to intervene.
Two other women at the home reportedly went upstairs to protect the Harrells’ 10-year-old-son, who was asleep.
Marlee and Jim died at the home in Carroll County. Brooks died as emergency responders were transporting her to a helicopter that was waiting to fly her to a hospital, the sheriff said.
Meanwhile, Michael had left the home and returned when deputies responded to the scene. According to officials, he pretended he didn’t know what had happened. But a surviving witness at the party identified him to investigators as the shooter, and, after a brief struggle, he was arrested.
Barnhill was reportedly charged with three counts of homicide and two counts of attempted murder. As of Wednesday, Barnhill was jailed without bond.