3:07 PM PDT, June 17, 2021
What happened to former Mississippi House Rep. Ashley Henley, who was shot in the back of the head Sunday while she was mowing the lawn outside a trailer in the Water Valley Boat Landing community? The shooting was reportedly on the same property where the body of her sister-in-law, Kristina Michelle Jones, was discovered in late December, first reported by the North Mississippi Herald.
Assistant District Attorney Steven Jubera told Mississippi Today that the gunshot was “non-accidental.”
Now investigators are working alongside multiple agencies trying to find answers in Henley’s and her sister-in-law’s mysterious deaths. Henley’s death is being investigated as a homicide, WJTV News12 reported.
Henley, 40, a Republican who served her DeSoto County district from 2016 to 2020, was discovered by Yalobusha County Sheriffs Department deputies around 10 p.m. outside a trailer in the Water Valley Boat Landing community, a report said.
Henley’s husband, Brandon Henley, confirmed his wife’s death in a post on the North Mississippi’s Herald’s Facebook page.
“Yes, it was my wife Ashley Henley that was found murdered in the same place my sister was,” Brandon Henley said. “She was running a weed eater and was shot in the back of the head.”
Before her own death, Ashley Henley was committed to seeking justice for her sister-in-law. Over the last few months, she shared her frustration in multiple posts on Facebook regarding the investigation of her sister-in-law’s death.
“I know the law, and I also know how quick people disappear down here. I’m not going down like that,” Ashley Henley wrote on social media on April 6, the Free Press reported.
“I’ve known Michelle since she was 9 years old. She was truly like my little sister. I will not give up on her. We will find out who did this, with or without help from Yalobusha County,” Ashley Henley wrote. “She’s not the first to die like this down there, but I’m going to do everything in my power to make sure she’s the last. Her death will not be in vain.”
A wooden billboard with photos of Jones and the words spray painted, “I WAS MURDERED,” had also been placed on the property.
The Yalobusha County Sheriff’s Office referred Inside Edition Digital’s request for comment to District Attorney Rhonda Amis’ office, which has not responded to Inside Edition Digital’s request for comment.
Yalobusha County Coroner Ronnie Stark told WJTV that it would be at least a week before an autopsy could be performed on Ashley Henley.
Stark told the Press that there were no gunshot wounds on Jones’ body when she was found late last year, but homicide has not been ruled out.
A newly released autopsy report stated that Jones’ cause of death was unknown.
Investigators are looking into both of these cases to see if there is a connection.
Ashley Henley is survived by her husband and son.
Ashley Henley’s friend Rep. Dan Eubanks has created a GoFundMe to raise money to help the family pay for funeral expenses.
“On Sunday, June 13th, 2021 Ashley Henley was murdered in Yalabusha County while tending to property owned by relatives. She was a devoted wife and mother, and leaves behind the loves of her life, husband Brandon Henley and son Landon Henley,” Eubanks wrote. “Ashley was an accomplished teacher who served many children over the almost two decades teaching in the Desoto County School system, as well as serving as a professor to many students at Northwest Mississippi Community College.
“Her family has suffered several financial difficulties over the last few years, and one of the greatest ways we could show her honor is by helping assist her family financially with the upcoming funeral costs while they already have to grieve and deal with her loss,” he wrote.