State Watch

Ex-Mississippi lawmaker’s widow says sheriff overseeing deaths of sister, wife is ‘playing politics’

The widow of a former Mississippi state lawmaker is accusing the sheriff handling the death of his wife and sister of “playing politics,” NBC News reports.

Brandon Henley’s wife, Ashley Henley, was reportedly found dead on Sunday in the same location where the body of his sister, Kristina Michelle Jones, was discovered in December.

The Henleys had been adamant about their suspicions that Jones had been the victim of foul play after she was found dead in a burned trailer. Her death was ruled “inconclusive,” and Brandon Henley said investigators hadn’t detected smoke in her lungs, suggesting the fire was not her cause of death, notes The Washington Post.

Henley claims local law enforcement didn’t take their suspicions seriously until the death of his wife, a former Republican state representative.

“The sheriff didn’t care until my wife was murdered,” Henley told NBC News. “The way he tried to handle the case — he’s not there for the people, he’s there for the politics.”

Yalobusha County Sheriff Mark Fulco did not immediately respond to The Hill’s request for comment.

The bodies of both Ashley Henley and Jones were found outside of a partially burnt trailer Jones previously resided in, located on a property owned by the Henleys. Ashley Henley reportedly went to go cut the grass on the property Sunday morning and was found shot by the trailer later that day.

Brandon Henley believes his wife, a state lawmaker from 2016 to 2020, was killed as a way to silence her, as she was outspoken about her belief that Jones had been murdered.

“We have been silent long enough,” Henley wrote in an April Facebook post. “NOW. . . we demand answers. We will not be intimidated. We are not going away. We will not back down. We will not be silent any longer. My sister-in-law deserves #JUSTICE.”

“They don’t want anyone looking,” Henley said. “They don’t want anyone asking questions, and that’s what we were doing. We kicked the hornet’s nest.”

He added, “I’m guessing this guy thought that if he got rid of her, he would get rid of the problem. But he just started a war.”

Tags ashley henley Brandon Henley Mississippi NBC News Yalobusha County

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