Preliminary autopsy reveals homicide in 2016 Lamar Co. shooting

Preliminary autopsy reveals homicide in 2016 Lamar Co. shooting
The scene/Photo credit: WDAM

LAMAR COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - Beth Ann Marshall was shot in her Lamar County home in December 2016, and over two months later, the case is in a holding pattern.

Marshall, 35, was pronounced dead at Forrest General Hospital on Dec. 20, by Forrest County Deputy Coroner Lisa Klem. The death was handled by the Forrest County Coroner's office, since the victim was pronounced dead in Forrest County.

The preliminary autopsy shows the manner of death in the Marshall investigation is homicide.

Lamar County deputies responded to the scene in the 1400 block of Old Highway 24 just before 9:30 a.m. and discovered Marshall suffering from a gunshot wound, according to Lamar County Sheriff Danny Rigel.

"The 36-year-old female was shot in the upper torso and transported by ambulance from the scene," Rigel said in a previous interview.

After that, Marshall was sent to the State Crime Lab in Jackson for an autopsy, which was performed Dec. 21, 2016.

Rigel said at the time of the shooting there was one other person, a man, at the residence.

"He went next door and told a family member, which is a neighbor and they called 911," Rigel said. "The female was shot with a hunting rifle, and that was recovered from the scene by detectives."

Rigel said the man that was at the residence was taken for questioning as part of the investigation, but not charged at the time.

"I still believe an arrest and charge in this case is premature, there are just a lot of different things we are waiting on in this case to determine which way to go before we present it to a grand jury," Rigel said. "We also want to check the rifle, and the path of the bullet and the distance and contact, there are just a lot of different things to follow up on from the report."

At the time of the shooting, Rigel said the incident was not random, and the victim and other person in the residence knew one another.

"This was not something that was random, both people, the victim and other person knew one another, so we are working to determine if it was domestic related, accidental or whatever else at this time," Rigel said.

Rigel said at this time that his department only has the preliminary autopsy report, and when the full report is complete they will attempt to present it to a grand jury for possible indictment in the case.

WDAM 7 News has put in phone calls to the State Medical Examiner's Office to follow up on the status of the full autopsy report.