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She Kept Hubby From Driving Drunk. Then, a Barrage of Bullets

Marlee Barnhill, 2 friends killed at 27th birthday party
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 8, 2019 7:19 AM CST
Marlee Jones Barnhill   (Carroll County Sheriff's Office)
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(Newser) – "Tonight I'm going to one of my really good friend's houses," Marlee Barnhill said in a Facebook Live video ahead of her 27th birthday party. "We're going to karaoke, and sit on her back porch and just hang out." The operator of the "Get Glamorous with Marlee" Facebook page then signed off, per People. "We're gonna be safe, and I will talk to y'all later!" Only she won't. Authorities say Barnhill's "drunk and belligerent" husband killed his wife and the couple hosting the March 1 get-together when she wouldn't let him drive home. Michael Barnhill became "angry and combative" when his wife took their truck keys before midnight, Carroll County Sheriff Clint Walker tells WTVA. He then retrieved a pistol from the truck, "went back inside, slapped a cigarette from his wife's hand, and shot her in the chest." Jim and Brooks Harrell were also shot as they tried to intervene, per Fox News.

Marlee Barnhill and Jim Harrell, 44, died at the scene as two female guests ran upstairs, where the Harrells' 10-year-old son was sleeping, and barricaded themselves in a closet. Brooks Harrell, 39, died en route to a hospital. Michael Barnhill had run from the house but returned as deputies arrived and acted "as though he did not know what had happened," Walker said. Identified as the shooter by a witness, the 30-year-old Winona man was then arrested after a brief struggle involving a Taser. "We may never know why Barnhill perpetrated this horrible crime," Walker added, noting that Barnhill's wife—a nurse with an infectious smile, per the Mississippi Clarion Ledger—was only "trying to do the right thing to protect his life and the lives of other drivers." Held in Carroll County Jail without bond, he faces three counts of first-degree murder and two counts of attempted murder. (Read more murder stories.)

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