RANKIN COUNTY, MS (WLBT) - Rankin County authorities made an arrest in the death of a nationally known white supremacist. Richard Barrett was found dead Thursday morning. His body was discovered at the back door of his burned out home.
The house is located at 227 East Petros Road in rural Rankin County about two miles north of the Monterrey Community.
Barrett was stabbed, beaten and set on fire said Rankin County Sheriff Ronnie Pennington. It wasn't long before deputies were pointed to a residence three houses down the road.
"What led us to the house was neighbors said they had seen Mr. Barrett at their residence yesterday at approximately 7:30 p.m.," said Sheriff Pennington.
There, deputies discovered evidence and talked to the family of 22-year-old Vincent McGee. The several-hour search had begun.
Around 5 p.m. McGee was found at a mobile home on Holmes Avenue in Pearl. He was released from Parchman State Penitentiary in February after serving five years for assaulting two Rankin County officers and grand larceny.
"He should have remained in prison until December of this year, but because of jail overcrowding and other issues he was released," said Rankin/Madison Counties District Attorney Michael Guest.
What was the motive for murder? Sheriff's deputies could not say.
"I thought he learned his lesson, but you never know," said McGee's stepfather Alfred Lewis. According to Lewis, the 22-year-old was angry over money. He said his stepson was hired to do lawn work at Barrett's home in Utica on Wednesday.
The two traveled the roughly hour-long trip each way together. After six hours of work, Lewis said Barrett paid McGee $26.
"He thought he was at least going to get $60 or $70 for the work he did. He was kind of upset for $26," said Lewis.
Family and neighbors did not know what kind of relationship Barrett and McGee had, but they call it odd.
"I have been out here ten years. He ain't never asked a black to work for him. Am I right or wrong?" Henderson Craig asked his fellow neighbors. "Why you pick this young black man who just got out on parole to work for you?"
Sheriff Pennington expects McGee to make an initial appearance in court on Monday.
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