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JAYESS, Miss. (AP) — A Mississippi sheriff believes a man wanted in a deadly shooting, assault and arson remains close to home.

Lawrence County Sheriff Lessie Butler told the Clarion Ledger that Tony Wilson shot and killed neighbor Henry Peavey on Dec. 19, beat his wife Kathryn Peavey, and then set their house ablaze. Wilson then vanished, with officials believing he disappeared into woods he knows well in rural Lawrence County.

Officials have said Wilson disputed Henry Peavey’s ownership of a piece of land. Butler said he believes Wilson will stay close to that land.

“We don’t have any evidence to prove or disprove that theory, it’s just a feeling on the type of individual he is, and the upset and what it all stems about,” Butler said.

An autopsy shows Peavey was shot once in the knee and once in the back, with the second shot being fatal, Butler said.

Wilson’s girlfriend told police he used an accelerant to set Peavey and two buildings on fire. Kathryn Peavey was beaten. She remained hospitalized in critical condition Wednesday.

Wilson’s brother-in-law Robert Langille told The Associated Press on the day of the shooting that Wilson felt like Butler had taken the Peaveys’ side in the land dispute.

“I want him to know that we would be as fair as we can be if he’ll turn himself in,” Butler said. “The situation is out of our hands because a crime has been committed, and we’re not going to close the case until we have the suspect in custody.”


Information from: The Clarion-Ledger,