Who was Ashley Henley? Ex Miss. rep killed at same property where sister-in-law was found dead

A former teacher and Mississippi lawmaker, Henley was shot outside the trailer where her sister-in-law's body had been found late last year


                            Who was Ashley Henley? Ex Miss. rep killed at same property where sister-in-law was found dead
Former Mississippi State Representative Ashley Henley was shot and killed while mowing the grass outside trailer home (@ashleyhenleyms/Instagram)

Former Mississippi lawmaker Ashley Henley has been found dead, due to a bullet wound on June 13. Henley's body was found late on Sunday night, June 13, in rural Yalobusha County, just outside the home where her sister-in-law was found dead in December 2020. The shocking and mysterious death is being probed, with little details available on what exactly happened.

Mississippi, much like the rest of America, has seen a large spike in gun-related deaths. In August 2020, an off-duty state trooper Lt. Troy Morris was shot dead in a delivery truck. In April 2020, officer Robert McKeithen was gunned down in a parking lot. More recently, 18-year-old Kennedy Hobbs was shot at a Texaco petrol station. 

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But while those murders have been relatively straightforward to solve. Others have left the police, and public confused. In 2014, 19-year-old Jessica Chambers was burnt alive, but years later trials have failed to convict the prime suspect. Currently, the state is captivated by the mysterious death of Henley's relative Kristina Michelle Jones, with police yet to solve that death. Now, Henley herself has been killed right at the very same location, adding to the mystery. 

Ashley Henley on the floor of the Mississippi State House of Representatives. (DeSoto County Republican Party)

Who was Ashely Henley?

The 40-year-old politician served in Mississippi's House of Representatives from 2016 to 2020. A Republican, she was elected to serve District 40- DeSoto County, where she is from. Henley graduated from The University of Mississippi in 2006 with an M.Ed in secondary education. Before that, she obtained a BA degree in 2002 from the same university.  Henley also worked as a projectionist in Southaven, according to her LinkedIn profile

Between 2005 and 2015, Henley served in numerous roles as an educator in the DeSoto County school district. In 2005, she briefly served at Georgetown University as a constitutional history teacher. In 2006, she became an academic tutor at the Palmer Home for Children. Between 2010 and 2015 she also served as an American History Instructor at Northwest Mississippi Community College. She then successfully ran for the state legislature, serving District 40 for four years.

Henley lost her re-election bid in 2019 to Democrat Hester Jackson-McCray by 14 votes. At the time, she bought a suit in state court to overturn the results, citing "technical errors". Henley also accused 11 voters of "voter fraud," claiming they do not live in the district. However, the Republican-controlled House denied her request and seated Jackson-McCray without opposition.  At the time of her death, Henley was serving as a legislative fellow at the Mississippi Centre for Public Policy. 



 

Henley's mysterious death raises eyebrows

On December 26, 2020, Henley's relative Jones was found burnt in a trailer on Patricia Drive. At the time, there were no gunshot wounds found on Jones' body, and police were left baffled by the incident, which is still being probed. Henley has routinely expressed frustration with the lack of progress in the case, which she claims is a murder. On April 6, she shared a photo of a board with the words 'I was murdered' on it and a photo of Jones underneath.

Sometime on June 13, Henley was shot at while mowing the grass at the property. Yalobusha County deputies found her body at around 10 pm. Assistant District Attorney Steven Jubera told the press further details were unavailable but did add that the gunshot was "non-accidental." "We are going back to square one (on Jones’ case) after receiving an initial Fire Marshal’s report and lab reports," Jubera added. So far, it doesn't appear as if the murder has anything to do with her service in the legislature. 

Henley is being mourned by her colleagues and friends, with the DeSoto County Republican Party posting on Facebook: "Please keep the family of Ashley Henley, Former MS State Representative, District 40 of Southaven in your prayers. Ashley passed away under suspicious circumstances yesterday." Representative Dan Eubanks, a friend and former colleague told WAFB9, "I believe she got close or she ruffled some feather, and whoever was responsible stepped up. I don’t think it was because somebody didn’t like her. They just didn’t like the fact that she was poking around, trying to get answers for who had murdered her sister-in-law."

Eubanks has also organized a GoFundMe for Henley's funeral, with a target of $10,000. Henley is survived by her husband Brandon Henley and a son. Henley's husband described her death as an execution-style killing. "She was running a weed eater and was shot in the back of the head according to local authorities. That's all they have told us at the moment," he wrote on Facebook. 

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