Man charged with arson in fire that killed MS state rep’s sister-in-law

YALOBUSHA, Miss. — Billy Brooks, a neighbor of Kristina Michelle Jones, has been charged with arson after the December 26, 2020 fire where her body was found inside her trailer.

Her sister-in-law Ashley Henley was actively investigating the case when she was murdered last week after being shot.

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Brooks has not been charged with either death.

Family members and friends said the two were romantically involved at some point.

Brooks, for now, is being held at the Yalobusha County Detention Center.

The whole case we are being told is circumstantial; investigators are not saying how they linked Brooks to the arson.

Friday, Brooks heard the arson charges he faces. His bond has not been set yet.

In the meantime, public records and neighbors told us Brooks lived here almost directly across the street from the memorial erected by her sister-in-law.

Johnny Blackwood lives down the street from Brooks.

“I don’t know much about him,” Blackwood said. “He doesn’t work. He has been living over there a couple, two or three years or longer. Always something happening over there. I have seen the police over there quite a few times.”

Investigators couldn’t tell us if police had been called to Brooks’s house before.

The man who found Henley’s body didn’t want to go on camera but told us he found her body in the grass between a weedeater and a chair.

Blackwood told us Brooks was always causing trouble.

“Any time my brother will be on his motorcycle and he will video him thinking he is going too fast thinking he can call the police on him,” Blackwood said.

Other neighbors told us a different story and said that Brooks was a quiet man and kept to himself and couldn’t have been responsible for arson.


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