MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A man is facing first-degree murder charges in the death of Ashley Henley, a former Mississippi state lawmaker from DeSoto County.

The Circuit Court Clerk’s office in Yalobusha County confirmed Thursday that Billy Brooks had been charged with Henley’s death last June.

Ashley and Brandon Hensley

Calhoun County authorities said Brooks was picked up Tuesday at his home on County Road 284 and handed off to Yalobusha County authorities.

Henley served one term in the Mississippi House, representing Southaven from 2016 to 2019, and was found dead outside a mobile home in Water Valley, Mississippi.

It was the same trailer where her sister-in-law Kristina Michelle Jones was found dead months earlier following a suspicious fire.

Brooks was accused of starting the fire but was never charged with Jones’s death.

Brandon Henly said his wife was doing yard work at the mobile home when she was shot in the back of the head.

Last year, he told WREG he believed his wife and sister were murdered by the same person.

He said the family had begun to re-examine his sister’s death just days before Ashley was killed.

Kristina Jones

Henley said no one from the Yalobusha County Smith Sheriff’s Department contacted or interviewed him or anyone from the family during their investigation, and he didn’t know how authorities were able to tie Brooks to his wife’s death.

“I don’t know what to believe,” said Henley.

He said Brooks lived across the street from his sister, and the two may have dated.

Brooks was charged with first-degree arson five days after Henley was killed. He was out of jail on bond when he was arrested for Henley’s death.