FLORIDA — A Florida man suspected of being involved in four killings is dead and his female alleged accomplice was taken into custody, the Troup County Sheriff’s Office in Georgia said Tuesday.
Sgt. Stewart Smith said William “Billy” Boyette Jr., 44, died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound inside the West Point Motel near the border with Alabama. His companion, Mary Barbara Craig Rice, was taken into custody.
Smith told CNN affiliate WTVM that after an hourslong standoff, Rice, 37, came out of the motel room and was arrested by member of the county’s SWAT unit. Moments later, there was a gunshot inside the motel room.
The Columbus, Georgia, station reported the couple checked into the motel on Monday night and on Tuesday someone spotted a car they had allegedly stolen.
The pair was wanted in four slayings over the past week in southern Alabama and the Florida Panhandle.
Sheriff Bob Johnson of Santa Rosa County in Florida told HLN’s “Primetime Justice with Ashleigh Banfield” that Rice was an accomplice to the two killings in his county.
“We are 100% sure she was a willing participant,” he said. Rice was recorded on a Walmart surveillance camera, shopping by herself, buying bullets, he said. She will be charged as an accessory after the fact to capital murder, he said.
Boyette was a suspect in the killings of two women in Northwest Florida last Tuesday, as well as the fatal shooting of another woman in Alabama on Friday, the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office in Florida said. It, too, said Boyette was dead.
The pair was wanted on murder and robbery charges in the killing of Peggy Broz, 52, Friday morning at her home in Lillian, Alabama, according to the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office. Authorities say they stole Broz’s car.
The pair is believed to be behind the fatal shooting of Kayla Crocker, 28, during a home invasion in suburban Pensacola on Monday morning. She died Tuesday evening, said Maj. Andrew Hobbs of the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office.
Law enforcement said Crocker was randomly targeted about 6:30 a.m. Monday by the suspects. Her 2-year-old son was present and was unharmed, police said.
Boyette and Rice allegedly stole Crocker’s vehicle and drove to a gas station and then to a Hardee’s for breakfast, WEAR reported.
The investigation began January 31, when Boyette was named as a suspect in the killings of Alicia Greer, 30, and Jacqueline Moore, 39. The two women were found shot to death in a motel room in Milton, Florida, police said.
Greer and Boyette had started dating several months ago, her parents Wayne and Kim Lane told CNN affiliate WALA. Her mother described Greer as “goofy” and “bubbly” and said she would do anything for anybody, according to WALA.
Rice was wanted for capital murder in Alabama, where Broz was killed, the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office said on Facebook. If convicted, she could face the death penalty.
Boyette had an extensive criminal history, including accusations of aggravated battery and domestic violence, the Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office said.