Thursday, April 12, 2012

Waveland, MS: 'I killed my family with a hammer': Sex offender confesses to triple murder before plunging to his death

A registered sex offender confessed to killing his mother, stepfather and girlfriend at their Mississippi home before he climbed a cellphone tower and plunged more than 300 feet to his death, according to police. Anthony Garrett, 46, died on Saturday night as authorities tried to talk him down from the tower in nearby Waveland. It was not clear if he jumped or fell.

The victims in the Bay St. Louis slayings were identified as Wilton Bernard Jr., 69, his wife, Jeanie Bernard, 66, and the suspect's girlfriend, Kathleen Deese, 51.

Police said a family member discovered the three bodies inside the house, which was described by the coroner as one of the most brutal crime scene he had ever scene. Other officials described the sight of the triple murder as 'a bloody mess,' according to WLOX.

Bay St. Louis Assistant Police Chief Christine Johnson said no motive has been disclosed in the killings but added that Garrett's family described him as having a history of violence.

Witnesses reported seeing Garrett acting erratically on top of the cellphone tower, while shouting expletives and whistling.

Damian Washington, who was at the scene, told WLOX: 'He said he killed his mum and dad...with a hammer. He sounded drunk. And then he was saying he did 23 years in jail and all that.'

Another witness named Shontel Johnson said: 'When [police] told him to come down, he was trying to get down. I really think he slipped. 'And I saw one of his arms swinging and after that he went down and he hit one of the poles on top of the tower and he was just somersaulting down. And after that we heard a loud boom. He hit the ground. We saw him fall. It was sad.'

Garrett was convicted in 1985 and 1988 of sexual battery and is listed in public records as a registered sex offender, according to the sun Herald.

Authorities in Hancock County are continuing to investigate the incidents as multiple autopsies are conducted

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