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Howard County Murder Suspect Commits Suicide

A man suspected of homicide in Athens has shot himself.

On Friday, July 10, witnesses say they saw Tony Barnes, 56, fire two fatal shots at Betty Burgess from her backdoor.

After fleeing the scene, authorities placed a warrant out for Barnes for murder in the first-degree.

Around noon on Saturday, July 11, the Howard County Sheriff’s Office started getting calls that Barnes’ vehicle had been spotted in the Newhope area and on Hwy 369, south towards his home on Muddy Fork Road.

Authorities say after arriving near Barnes’ home, they discovered he had just returned to the residence moments before they did.

Officers located Barnes near a pond on his property and saw that he was in possession of a shotgun.

At approximately 1:10 p.m., officers say they heard a single gunshot fired and later discovered that Barnes had used the shotgun to kill himself.

Deputies with the Howard County Sheriff’s Office were assisted by the Nashville Police Department, Arkansas State Police, Pike County Sheriff’s Office, the 9th Judicial Drug Task Force, the Arkansas Game and Fish and several other agencies.

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