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Sheriff: Wife shoots, kills estranged husband, but so far not facing charges

PANOLA COUNTY, Miss. -- A Panola County man is dead, but right now his estranged wife, who the Sheriff’s Office says pulled the trigger, is not facing charges.

Panola County Sheriff Dennis Darby said Phyllis Hamm is not in custody after she shot her estranged husband Clinton Hamm at their home outside Batesville.

Clinton had been under a protective order that expired just days before the shooting.

Murphy Ridge Road outside Batesville is a quiet, country road. The homes are spread out, with long driveways, tucked away behind trees.

People live here for privacy.

But several people WREG talked to said problems going on between Clinton and Hamm weren't a secret. They had been going on for a while.

Sunday around 8:30 p.m., Panola County sheriff investigators said Hamm shot Clinton. There was some kind of argument.

The two were going through a divorce.

Clinton had been under a protection order that had expired July 11, just four days prior to the shooting.

"I’m sad that it happened that way, but it sounds like she protected herself," said neighbor Hilda Tucker.

The sheriff’s office said it appears Hamm feared for her life that Sunday night.

Right now she is not facing any charges and she is not in custody.

The sheriff says she has no criminal history.

People who live nearby said it’s a quiet area.

"I really didn’t know him that well. He had a little sawmill that he would saw up logs for people," said neighbor Ricky Runnels.

"It is sad. I mean I know that kind of thing happens," said Tucker.

However, they said it sounds like Hamm did what she could to try and prevent it.

Detectives will turn over their findings to the grand jury, who will decide if there should be any charges.