Man arrested for arson at home of slain Mississippi lawmaker’s relative


WATER VALLEY, Miss. — A man has been arrested for arson in a December fire at the same property the sister-in-law of a former Mississippi lawmaker was found dead.

Kristina Michelle Jones was found dead on Dec. 26. Assistant District Attorney Steven Jubera tells local news outlets that Billy Brooks was arrested Friday on an arson charge. Brooks, however, was not charged in Jones’s death.

Former state Rep. Ashley Henley was found shot to death June 13 outside the same mobile home near Water Valley.

Law enforcement did release a statement late Monday afternoon saying the following:

On June 18, 2021, Billy Brooks was arrested and charged with First Degree Arson for the December 26, 2020 structure fire of the trailer located at 12 Pat Drive in Yalobusha County, Mississippi.  This arrest is a result of the combined investigative efforts of the Yalobusha County Sheriff’s Office, the Mississippi Bureau of Investigations, and the State Fire Marshall’s Office.  Brooks is currently being held in the Yalobusha County Jail without bond.

The investigations into the death of Kristina Michelle Jones on that date, and the subsequent death of her sister-in-law, Ashley Henley, on June 13, 2021, are active and ongoing.

To protect the integrity of the ongoing investigations, there will be no further comment at this time.  As the investigations develop, information will be released as appropriate.

Mark Fulco, Yalobusha County Sheriff’s Office

Investigators say they didn’t receive Jones’ autopsy until last month.

The family sent us a copy which listed her cause of death as “undetermined.”

Brooks reportedly lived across the street. He was jailed in Yalobusha County. It’s unclear if Brooks has a lawyer to speak for him or has seen a judge.

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