Mississippi man, Michael Barnhill charged in the triple homicide deaths of his wife. Marlee Barnhill and Jim and Brooks Harrell after going off on drunken stupor at birthday party.
A Mississippi man has been arrested after allegedly shooting dead his wife and two friends at her birthday party last Friday when they tried to stop him from driving drunk.
Michael Martin Barnhill, 30, come Monday was charged with three counts of first-degree murder and two counts of attempted homicide, authorities revealed.
Identified as the victims were Barnhill’s wife, Marlee Jones Barnhill and family friends Jim Harrell, 44 and Brooks Harrell, 39.
On the night of the slayings, March 1, the Harrell’s had been hosting a karaoke party in Winona for Barnhil’s wife. What had started off in good spirits – by the end of the evening deteriorated into a bloodbath.
According to Carroll County Sheriffs, as the evening wore on, Barnhill became increasingly drunk and belligerent, before a rage descended.
Police say party-goers tried to discourage Michael’s ‘drunken antics’, causing him to become ‘angry and combative’.
Barnhill is then said to have stormed out the party and asked Marlee to hand over the keys to their truck, which she refused to do.
Incensed, the husband allegedly went out to the unlocked vehicle and returned to the party clutching a .40 caliber pistol.
He then reportedly approached his wife, aggressively slapped a cigarette from her hand, and shot her in the chest from close range.
Attempting to protect Marlee, party co-host Jim Harrell was also shot by Michael- WTVA reported.
Rushing to attend to her husband, a third shot was discharged and struck Brooks.
Michael Barnhill returns to scene of crime pretending he didn’t know what had happened.
The other two women at the party ran to protect the Harrells’ 10-year-old son, who was asleep upstairs. They locked the child in the closet, barricaded themselves in the bedroom, and dialed 911.
Police arrived to find Marlee and Jim dead at the scene. Brooks was airlifted to hospital but died in transit the Jackson Clarion Ledger reported.
Michael Barnhill was reportedly nowhere to be seen. Officers say he returned to the property later that evening, claiming as though he ‘didn’t know what had happened.’
The two surviving witnesses reportedly identified him as the killer. Police say he then attempted to flee but was subdued by a taser gun and was taken into custody.
‘These were all good friends having a nice time together,’ Carroll County Sheriff Clint Walker in a statement.
‘Marlee was trying to do the right thing to protect his life and the lives of other drivers.’
Just hours before the party, Marlee had posted a video to Facebook (see below) saying how excited she was for the evening ahead.
‘Happy March 1!!!! New month, New Goals, and my BIRTHDAY MONTH!,’ she posted.
A regard of Michael Barnhill’s Facebook page revealed him having been married to Marlee since 2016. Barnhill, has a child from a previous relationship, worked for a logging company.
Of note, the husband did not have a previous criminal history.
Barnhill remains in custody in Carroll Montgomery Regional Correctional Facility without bond.