ON AIR NOW

LISTEN NOW

Weather

clear-night
74°
Sunny
H 93° L 71°
  • clear-night
    74°
    Current Conditions
    Sunny. H 93° L 71°
  • clear-day
    89°
    Afternoon
    Sunny. H 93° L 71°
  • cloudy-day
    87°
    Evening
    Partly Cloudy. H 93° L 71°
LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest newscast

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest traffic report

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest forecast

00:00 | 00:00

National
Police: Drunken man guns down wife, 2 friends at wife’s birthday party after she took keys
Close

Police: Drunken man guns down wife, 2 friends at wife’s birthday party after she took keys

Police: Drunken Man Gunned Down Wife, 2 Friends at Wife's Birthday Party After She Took Car Keys

Police: Drunken man guns down wife, 2 friends at wife’s birthday party after she took keys

Marlee Jones Barnhill was effervescent the afternoon of March 1 as she prepared to celebrate her 27th birthday. 

“I’m in such a good mood guys, can you tell?” Barnhill says in a Facebook Live video she recorded as she put on makeup at her Mississippi home. “Tonight, I’m going to one of my really good friends’ houses. We’re going to karaoke and sit on her back porch and just hang out.”

Barnhill at one point addresses her husband, Michael, off-screen, asking him to put their dogs up. Before signing off, she offered her audience a final goodbye: “I hope y’all have a great night. Be safe, whatever you’re doing. 

“We’re going to be safe.”

Less than eight hours later, Barnhill was dead, as were Brooks and Jim Harrell, the friends who hosted her birthday celebration. According to the Clarion-Ledger in Jackson, Michael Barnhill, 30, of Winona, is accused of gunning down his wife and their friends in a drunken rage after his wife took his keys to keep him from driving in that condition. 

“Marlee was trying to do the right thing to protect his life and the lives of other drivers,” Carroll County Sheriff Clint Walker said in a statement released to the media following Michael Barnhill’s first court appearance March 4. 

Michael Barnhill is charged with three counts of first-degree murder and two counts of attempted murder. According to WLBT in Jackson, he is being held without bond in the Carroll-Montgomery County Regional Correctional Facility in Vaiden. 

The shooting took place just before midnight at the Harrells’ home on Carroll County Road 135 between Carrollton and Greenwood, the Clarion-Ledger reported. Walker said there was no evidence of drug use or even much drinking at the party “other than that done by Michael Barnhill to excess.”

Michael Barnhill became belligerent and got “angry and combative” as friends and his wife discouraged his behavior, the sheriff said

Marlee Barnhill held onto his keys to keep him from trying to drive away in their truck, Walker said. When she would not give him the keys, Michael Barnhill went to the vehicle and retrieved a .40-caliber handgun. 

He returned to the house, where he angrily slapped a cigarette from his wife’s hand and shot her in the chest, the Clarion-Ledger said

Jim Harrell was shot when he tried to help Marlee Barnhill, Walker said in his statement. Brooks Harrell was shot as she ran to help her husband and her friend. 

Two other women at the party witnessed the triple homicide and ran upstairs to a bedroom where a 10-year-old child was asleep. The Clarion-Ledger reported that the women, Mauri Suggs and Amber Garrard, barricaded themselves into a closet with the child, who WLBT identified as one of the Harrells’ two sons, to protect him. 

The Clarion-Ledger reported two of the victims died at the scene. Brooks Harrell died in an ambulance on the way to a helicopter prepared to take her to Jackson for treatment. 

Walker said Michael Barnhill, who had left the scene after the shooting, returned while deputies were there, “acting as though he did not know what had happened,” the newspaper reported. The surviving partygoers were able to identify him as the shooter. 

Michael Barnhill then tried to flee the scene and deputies had to use a Taser to subdue him, Walker said

>> Read more trending news

The sheriff commended each of the victims and the survivors, who he said “all thought of other people before themselves” in the most difficult moment of their lives. 

“Each victim of this crime acted out of care and concern for the welfare of others,” Walker said, according to the Clarion-Ledger. “Marlee tried to keep Michael Barnhill and those he might come into contact with safe by preventing him driving drunk. Jim Harrell acted in defense of Marlee. Brooks Harrell tried to render aid to her husband. Mauri Suggs and Amber Garrard acted to protect a defenseless child, and to warn the deputies of the danger they were facing. Our deputies remembered and acted upon their training to protect those remaining and subdue the suspect.”

Suggs on March 2 posted a photo on Facebook of herself with Marlee Barnhill. She said the image was taken “30 minutes before (their) lives were turned upside down.”

“I love this beautiful sole (sic) so much,” Suggs wrote.  

Marlee Barnhill’s friends remembered her for her smile and personality. State Rep. Karl Oliver, R-Winona, told the Clarion-Ledger he is a friend of her family and has known her since she was a child.

“She was just a young lady who dedicated her life to helping others,” Oliver said. “She had a sweet personality, just a precious soul.”

Administrators at Tyler Holmes Memorial Hospital, where Marlee Barnhill worked, remembered her, as well, saying they were grateful for the time they had with her.

“Marlee’s smile was infectious,” hospital officials said on its Facebook page. “She touched the lives of her patients and co-workers with kindness and joy that will never be forgotten. Our THMH family was blessed to have had her on our team.”

Marlee Barnhill also sold makeup for Younique. It was on her brand Facebook page, Get Glamorous with Marlee, that she posted her final video. 

Other Younique representatives dedicated makeup tutorials to Marlee Barnhill after her death. 

Barnhill’s obituary describes her as a beautiful soul who was always smiling.

“She loved her family, her dog, Bella, Younique makeup and ‘going live’ with her makeup videos,” the obituary reads. 

Her obituary lists her name as Marlee Marie Jones. There is no mention of her husband. 

Like Marlee Barnhill, Brooks Harrell was a nurse. Jim Harrell was a land surveyor, according to their joint obituary

“Both loved the Lord, their church and music, which was evident by their devoted participation in worship and education at the Cruger Baptist Church, where they were members,” the obituary reads. “She played the bass guitar and sang while he played the guitar for their praise team. Likewise, they both shared their talent teaching children in the pre-school department.

“Jim loved hunting and fishing and shared many hours together with his oldest son, Allen. He also enjoyed spending time with his youngest son, Trace, on the baseball field. He assisted coaching his team at Stribbling Park and on the Delta Storm travel team. 

“Both enjoyed their family, especially the boys, and Brooks’ favorite days were when she was able to spend time with her niece, Daisy.”

Read More

The Latest Headlines You Need To Know

  • The Alachua County Sheriff is reassuring resident near Lake Forest Creek that their latest call is not straight from a horror flick. They sent this tweet after the body of a five and a half foot shark was found in the creek. When deputies responded they also encountered an alligator lurking nearby. The headline on the tweet “This is the most Florida call of the week.” The tweet went on to explain that deputies believe the shark was caught elsewhere and dumped. 
  • Imagine flying from New York to London in just 90 minutes! A U.S. venture-capital firm is asking investors to bet on the development of a hypersonic aircraft that can fly over 3,000 miles per hour.  The new startup is Hermeus Corp., who’s mission is to increase the speed air transportation by developing vehicles that can fly ''in excess of Mach 5.  The Atlanta Based Corporation announced its advisory board  includes the former president of Blue Origin and former associate administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration.  The idea is to connect the world's cities ''significantly faster than ever before,'' which Hermeus CEO A.J. Piplica likened to the broadband era of data transmissions. The round of seed investment led by Khosla Ventures will continue the development of Hermeus' hypersonic propulsion system, a media statement said.  ''Hermeus is developing an aircraft that not only improves the aviation experience with very reduced flight times, but also has the potential to have great societal and economic impact,' Vinod Khosla, founder of Khosla Ventures, said in the statement.  Hermeus is not alone in their quest for speed Boeing is also working on a passenger plane that can hit Mach 5. 
  • A SeaWorld Orlando spokesperson confirmed that lung disease was the cause of death for Kayla, the killer whale that died at the theme park in January. The results come from a post-mortem investigaton after the 30-year-old orca died unexpectedly. Kayla was born in captivity at SeaWorld San Antonio and was transported to Orlando n 2006. She seemed healthy before she began showing signs of discomfort. Despite treatment, her condition worsened and she died two days later. SeaWorld Orlando announced Kayla’s death on January 28, 2019. There are still five orcas in care at SeaWorld Orlando. 
  • The Fraternal Order of Police still have the link to the fundraiser for Orlando Police Officer Anthony Wongshue on their Facebook page, but when you click on the link it says Campaign Not Found. Wongshue turned himself in. last week,  after he was indicted on a manslaughter charge last week for the May 7, 2018 killing of Juan Alberto Silva, 32. Silva was an accomplice in a shoplifting bust at a Marshall’s in Colonial Plaza in Orlando, police said. Investigators said the officers were responding to a nearby crash when they were called for a reported shoplifting at the store. The officers asked Silva to stop his van, but he drove away, and they shot him, police said. Only Wongshue was charged in the shooting. As for the GOFUNDME.com campaign, Nearly $3000 had been raised to assist Officer Wongshue  in less than an hour. In a second Facebook post, the F.O.P. said all of the GOFUNDME donations will be refunded by the site but, they would begin another campaign on a different platform soon.  Immediately after the arrest the Fraternal Order of Police issued the following statement.  'As members of the Orlando Police Department return from Washington D.C. where they honored Fallen Heroes from around the nation, the Fraternal Order of Police was saddened to hear of the recent charges placed against Master Police Officer Anthony Wongshue. It is particularly disturbing because this matter had been looked into for the better part of a year without charges being filed. During that time, Master Police Officer Wongshue made himself fully available to the investigation. A Police Officer's job, at its essence, is to protect citizens from each other. In doing so, they put their lives on the line every day and risk their safety in every situation they come upon. We would ask that, as this long journey begins for Master Police Officer Wongshue to prepare and present his side of the story, that he be given the same courtesies, rights and protections that he has given to all others to whom he has sworn to protect for 16 plus years.  As with all those he has had to arrest, he is presumed innocent and the state must prove his guilt beyond and to the exclusion of every reasonable doubt. As an organization, we staunchly stand with Master Police Officer Wongshue today and in the future as he faces this challenge.  Please keep Master Police Officer Wongshue and all law enforcement officers in your thoughts and prayers.
  • A Virginia man has been charged with felony animal cruelty after police said he set fire to a pit bull at a Richmond park. The dog later died. >> Dog tied to pole, intentionally set on fire, police say According the Richmond Police Department, Jyahshua A. Hill, 20, was arrested Monday in connection with the Feb. 10 incident at Abner City Park, where the dog 'was tied to a chain-link fence, doused with a flammable liquid and set on fire.' >> Read the Police Department's Facebook post here Witnesses told police that a man 'wearing multiple layers of pants' fled the scene afterward, Richmond Animal Care and Control said at the time. The male pit bull was taken to Cary Street Veterinary Hospital for treatment of the burns, which covered more than 40 percent of his body, police said. The dog, whom officials named Tommie, died Feb. 15. >> Pit bull tied to pole, set on fire, dies Animal control officials offered a $25,000 reward in the case, according to WHSV. State lawmakers also passed 'Tommie's Law,' which takes effect in July. It will enact 'harsher penalties for anyone convicted of animal cruelty' in Virginia, the station reported. >> Read more trending news  If convicted, Hill could face a $2,500 fine and a five-year prison term, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported. Read more here.

Washington Insider

  • The struggle between Democrats in the House and President Donald Trump over the Russia investigation intensified on Monday with the White House telling former Counsel Don McGahn not to honor a subpoena for  his testimony on Tuesday before the House Judiciary Committee, as Democrats said it was all part of a broad effort the President and the Trump Administration to stonewall Congress about the Mueller Report and other investigations. In a letter to Democrats, McGahn's lawyer William Burck said, 'the President has unambiguously directed my client not to comply with the Committee’s subpoena for testimony.' 'Under these circumstances, and also conscious of the duties he, as an attorney, owes to his former client, Mr. McGahn must decline to appear at the hearing,' the letter added. Democrats said they would still convene the hearing at 10 am EDT on Tuesday, as they held out the possibility of finding McGahn in contempt, just as the same committee voted to find Attorney General William Barr in contempt for refusing to honor a subpoena for an unredacted version of the Mueller Report. Democrats wanted testimony from McGahn because of the information he gave to investigators for the Mueller investigation, in which McGahn detailed repeated demands by President Trump to oust the Special Counsel. While President Trump has sternly denied that he ever ordered McGahn to get rid of Mueller, the evidence offered by the Special Counsel painted a different picture. McGahn testified that the President called him on June 17, 2017 - about a month after Mueller had been named as Special Counsel - and pressed for Mueller to be ousted, an order that McGahn repeatedly ignored. On page 300 of the Mueller Report, 'McGahn recalled the President telling him 'Mueller has to go' and 'Call me back when you do it.''  The Mueller Report described McGahn - who reportedly answered questions for 30 hours over multiple interviews - as a 'credible witness with no motive to lie or exaggerate.' McGahn also claimed in his testimony that once news of the President's request was reported in the press, Mr. Trump then pressed McGahn to dispute the veracity of the story that the President had pressed for Mueller's ouster. McGahn refused to do what the President had asked. The White House based its refusal for McGahn to testify on a new 15 page legal opinion from the Justice Department, which said McGahn - as a former top adviser - was under no requirement to testify before Congress. 'The President's immediate advisers are an extension of the President and are likewise entitled to absolute immunity from compelled congressional testimony,' the Office of Legal Counsel opinion stated. In summary, the Justice Department said simply, 'we conclude that Mr. McGahn is not legally required to appear before the Committee.' Democrats denounced the decision, and charged it was just adding more evidence to what they say is a cover up, focused on obscuring obstruction of justice by President Trump. 'This move is just the latest act of obstruction from the White House that includes its blanket refusal to cooperate with this Committee,' said Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY), the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. 'The President is intimidating witnesses and stonewalling the American people and the rule of law. Congress and the American people deserve answers from Mr. McGahn,' said Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon (D-PA). '(T)he White House Counsel serves interests of the American people, not the President, and their conversations do not have the protection of blanket attorney-client privilege,' said Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA). 'It’s pretty clear what the Trump Administration is doing here,' said Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE), 'they’re trying to hide the facts from the American people.' Democrats have promised to move forward to hold McGahn in Contempt of Congress - but there has also been discussion of other penalties, from what is known as 'inherent contempt' - which could involve levying fines against those who refuse to cooperate with investigations by Congress. 'The cover-up continues,' said Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA). 'And we will fight it.