TROUP COUNTY, Ga. — The GBI is taking over the death investigation after William “Billy” Boyette reportedly shot himself after a standoff Tuesday afternoon. That crime isn’t the only high-profile crime Troup County Sheriff’s Deputies have responded to in the past month.
On January 9th, Michael Hockett was injured after he was hit by shotgun pellets when responding to a call. Just last week, a Troup County man died while in police custody after he was hit by shotgun pellets when responding to a call. Tuesday’s standoff with two murder suspects wanted in a multi-state killing spree ended with one in custody and one dead in West Point.
“People were injured and in this case people were killed, but all three very tragic incidents. I hope for Troup County’s sake, we’re not going to have anything big for awhile,” said Troup County Sheriff James Woodruff.
West Point Motel, where fugitives 37-year-old Mary Rice and 44-year-old William Boyette were caught, is about four miles off the interstate. The motel owner tells News 3 the area surrounding his family’s motel is usually quiet.
Sheriff Woodruff says he is thankful none of the other guests staying in the West Point Motel at the time of the standoff were injured.
“Because of the shape of the motel, we were not able to evacuate them safely. So we called the rooms and asked them to stay put. They did and we’re thankful for that. But we’re glad he didn’t come outside shooting,” he said.
Rice is currently in custody in Florida after being extradited from Troup County Wednesday.
“There were no charges here made on her. So we don’t have an open investigation. Our investigation at this point is closed,” Sheriff Woodruff said.
Sheriff Woodruff says he doesn’t know why the wanted murder suspects were in the West Point Motel or if they knew anyone in the area.
As far as the other incidents in Troup County over the past month, 28-year-old Matthew Edmonson faces multiple charges including criminal attempt murder. He is accused of shooting at Deputy Michael Hockett.
The GBI is investigating the death of 44-year-old James Thompson. He is accused of shooting his daughter before being tased and later dying in police custody.
Another incident involving the Troup County Sheriff’s Office happened last week after a car being chased on Interstate 85 drove through a median hitting a Troup County patrol car. Chief Deputy Jon Whitney was in the car. He was taken to the West Georgia Medical Center and released the same day.