RANKIN COUNTY, MS (WLBT) - An arrest has been made in the death of nationally known white supremacist Richard Barrett, who was found dead this morning. His body was discovered at the back door of his burned out Rankin County home.
The house is located at 227 East Petros road in rural Rankin County, about two miles north of the Monterrey community.
Sheriff Ronnie Pennington says 22 year old Vincent McGee has been arrested and taken to the Rankin County jail in Brandon. McGee was an MDOC inmate out of prison on earned release supervision. Pennington also says Barrett had been stabbed to death.
The well kept brick home with white columns was gutted by fire and smoke, but the flames did not break through the roof.
Neighbors told us there were spotlights around the house that were on as late as 10:30 Wednesday night and again this morning.
Thursday afternoon Sheriff Pennington and several other deputies had a warrant to search a house down the street from where Barrett lived. Nobody was at home and several items were brought out of the house.
Neighbors said the business about him being a racist was all show.
One black neighbor said Barrett was very friendly and even helped him with a legal problem free.
Barrett was a lawyer and Purple Heart veteran of Vietnam, who came here from New Jersey in the sixties.
Sheriff Pennington did not dismiss the possibility the fire was set to try to cover up the murder.
"Could be. Could be that's what we are investigating" Pennington added.
"Randall Walker, Barrett's neighbor, said his son first discovered the fire about 7:45 a.m.
"They knocked on every door, window, and they couldn't get anybody, couldn't get any response. The house was just full of smoke. And then my wife called 911 and they all got out here, don't know much about him, he lived here several years, but he was kind of off to his self" said Walker.
Sixty-seven year old Richard Barrett, a nationally known white supremacist, was found dead at the back door of his rural Rankin County Home.
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