Ashley Henley, 40, was elected to the Mississippi state House of Representatives in 2016, and narrowly lost her 2019 reelection bid by just 14 votes, was found dead over the weekend.
“She died from a gunshot wound. It’s being investigated as a homicide,” Yalobusha County Coroner Ronnie Stark said.
Thirty-three year old Kristina Michelle Jones, Henley’s sister-in-law, was found dead inside a burned trailer on the property on December 26.
The cause of the fire still remains under investigation. Stark’s office is currently awaiting the results of the fire marshal’s investigation, but an autopsy on Jones’ body has already been performed.
The trailer, which was owned by Jones’ father, seems to be the link between the murders, as Henley’s body was found just outside of it. According to reporting by a local NBC affiliate, Henley was cutting the grass next to the trailer at the time of her death.
When speaking with the local news outlet, her husband, Brandon Henley, said that his wife was shot in the head.
“She was a great person. She had a great heart. She was a voice for people who didn’t have a voice,” Brandon Henley said.
Both Ashley and Brandon Henley were openly critical and outspoken about the investigation into Jones’ death. Brandon Henley had even been posting on his Facebook about the investigation. In a recent post on April 6, he revealed that investigators had determined that the fire was arson, and had found no smoke in Jones’ lungs, meaning that she was dead before the fire was started.
There was reportedly an altercation between Ashley Henley and local sheriff’s deputies prior to her death. Henley claims that they had stopped her from bringing flowers to a memorial on the property, and had tried to intimidate her.