‘The wrong person is locked up’: Wife says husband didn’t set trailer fire where former lawmaker’s sister was found dead


YALOBUSHA COUNTY, Miss. — The wife of the man arrested for arson in a fire at the Water Valley house where the bodies of former Mississippi state Rep. Ashley Henley and her sister-in-law were discovered almost six months apart says she believes he’s innocent.

For the first time, Melissa Brooks talked with WREG-TV about what happened the night of the fire. In a phone interview, the wife of Billy Brooks shared what the last few weeks have been like for her family.

“Oh my God, this has been the most excruciating pain I think we’ve been through,” said Melissa Brooks.

 Brooks said the fire happened Christmas night while she was staying with family. She explained what her husband told her happened that night.

“He woke up because he could see the flames, and then he went and called 911 and ran over to try to put the fire out to see if he could get in there to help her,” said Brooks.

The next day, deputies said Kristina Jones was found dead in the Water Valley trailer.

The family called her death suspicious provided us with an autopsy report that listed her cause of death as “undetermined.”

Officials said the arson charge against Brooks was the result of a multi-agency investigation.

“I know my husband. I know he’s innocent of these charges. He is not the type of person that could do this,” said Brooks.

Just six months after Jones was found dead her sister in law, former state Rep. Ashley Henley was shot and killed on the same property while cleaning it up.

Brooks was arrested five days later.

“Their loss is permanent and I hate what they’re going through. I do not see how they can feel justice is served when the wrong person is locked up,” Brooks said.

The District Attorney’s office told us they couldn’t release any additional information since this was an active investigation.

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