CARROLLTON – The recalled Carroll County Grand Jury handed down an indictment Tuesday for a man accused of murdering three people last March.
Michael M. Barnhill, 30, of Winona was indicted for capital murder in connection with the shooting deaths of Marlee Jones Barnhill, 27, Jim Harrell, 44, and Jamie Brooks Harrell,38, on March 1, 2019, at the Harrell home located on County Road 135 in Carroll County.
Michael Barnhill was also indicted for one count of aggravated assault for attempting “to cause bodily injury to Amber Garrard, with a deadly weapon,” for allegedly shooting at Garrard during the course of the shooting.
Barnhill is currently being held without bond at the Carroll County Jail in Vaiden.
“The district attorney’s office has worked extra hard alongside the [Mississippi Bureau of Investigation] and the Carroll County Sheriff’s Department in steps moving forward to bring justice to Marlee, Brooks, and Jim,” Carroll County Sheriff Clint Walker said. “Please continue to pray for all the families as they are going through this, especially the children.”
Marlee Jones Barnhill, Jim Harrell, and Brooks Harrell were shot and killed during a birthday celebration for Marlee at the Harrell residence in Carroll County.
Michael Barnhill, husband of Marlee, was arrested and charged with the shooting after he was identified as a suspect witnesses at the scene, Walker said.
According to Walker, the Barnhills were invited to the Harrell home on County Road 135 to celebrate Marlee Jones Barnhill’s 27th birthday, which was the next day. Friends Mauri Suggs and Amber Garrard were also invited to the gathering. The Harrell’s 10-year-old son was also present at the home.
Walker said “good friends were all having a nice time together,” when Michael Barnhill became “drunk and belligerent” over the course of the evening.
Walker said Marlee Jones Barnhill would not give her husband the keys to their vehicle to prevent him from driving drunk. Barnhill allegedly went to the vehicle and returned with a .40 caliber handgun.
“As he became angrier, he slapped a cigarette from Marlee’s hand,” Walker said. “Then, Michael Barnhill suddenly shot Marlee in the chest. As Jim Harrell tried to come to Marlee’s defense, Barnhill proceeded to shoot Jim. He also shot Brooks [Harrell] as she attempted to come to the aid of her husband and Marlee. The Harrells were trying to do the right thing by coming to Marlee’s aid.”
Walker said Suggs and Garrard ran into the house and upstairs to protect the Harrell’s young son who was asleep in his room. The women locked and barricaded themselves and the boy in a closet, and were later discovered by deputies.
Walker said later the evening of the shooting, Michael Barnhill returned to the scene and was taken into police custody and charged for the crime.