Wife, 2 friends killed after trying to stop husband from driving drunk

U.S. & World
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A Mississippi husband shot and killed his wife and two friends when they tried to stop him from driving drunk after a birthday party, officials said.

Michael Martin Barnhill, 30, of Winona was charged with three counts of first-degree murder and two counts of attempted murder, NBC-affiliate station WTVA in Tupelo reported Tuesday.

Carroll County Sheriff Clint Walker said Barnhill was “drunk and belligerent” at a celebration for his wife’s birthday, according to WTVA.

Marlee Barnhill took the keys to the couple’s truck to keep him from driving, the station reported.

Authorities said Barnhill then “went outside to the vehicle, went back inside, slapped a cigarette from his wife’s hand, and shot her in the chest.”

Friends who were hosting the celebration, Jim and Brooks Harrell, tried to intervene and were killed, officials said.

Two other friends rushed to protect Harrell’s 10-year-old son, who was asleep in his bedroom. The unidentified survivors then barricaded themselves in the room to call for help, WTVA reported.

It is unclear whether Barnhill has appeared in court or has a lawyer. The Carroll County Sheriff’s Department was unable to answer a request for more information to NBC News on Thursday night.

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