Barnhill Pleads Guilty to Triple Homicide

CARROLLTON, MS (Ben Caxton) — Michael Barnhill admitted to killing his wife and two other people at a party last March at a court appearance on Monday. The 31-year-old pled guilty to three charges of first-degree murder and one charge of aggravated assault in exchange for the state dropping charges of capital murder which could have led to the death penalty. At a party in honor of his wife’s 27th birthday, Barnhill got drunk and became irate when his wife, Marlee Jones Barnhill, tried to take his keys and stop him from driving. Barnhill went to his truck, got a gun and shot her in the chest. When party hosts Jim and Jamie Brooks Harrell came to her aid, Barnhill shot and killed them as well, while also taking shots at another woman at the party, Amber Garrard. Barnhill was sentenced to three life sentences, plus 20 years for the assault charge by circuit judge Joseph Loper who called the murders “the most senseless case” he has seen in his 25 years on the bench.


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