Ashley Henley, 40, a Mississippi state representative from 2016 to 2020 who lost her reelection in 2019 by just 14 votes, was killed over the weekend.
“She died from a gunshot wound. It’s being investigated as a homicide,” Yalobusha County Coroner Ronnie Stark said.
Henley’s sister-in-law, Kristina Michelle Jones, 33, was found dead inside a burned trailer on the same property on December 26. The cause of the fire still remains under investigation.
According to Stark’s office, an autopsy has been performed on Jones’ body, but they are still waiting for the results of the fire marshal’s investigation.
Henley’s body was found just outside the trailer where her sister-in-law’s body was found. She had been cutting the grass next to the trailer when she was killed, according to reporting by a local NBC affiliate.
“She was a great person. She had a great heart. She was a voice for people who didn’t have a voice,” her husband, Brandon Henley, said.
The trailer where Jones’ body was found was owned by her father.
Both Brandon and Ashley Henley were known to be outspoken and openly critical about the investigation into Jones’ death. Since her body was found, Brandon Henley had been posting updates about the investigation on his Facebook page. In a recent update on April 6, he wrote that investigators had deemed the fire to be arson, and had found that there was no smoke in Jones’ lungs, meaning that she had been dead before the fire was started.
There was an altercation between Ashley Henley and local sheriff’s deputies just before her death. She claims that the deputies had stopped her from bringing flowers to a memorial on the property, and had attempted to intimidate her.