October 25, 2020

Father and son sentenced in gun store murders of father, son

The father and son found guilty in relation to a deadly gun store shoot out that resulted in the deaths of another father and son were sentenced Friday.

Audy David McCool, 67, was sentenced to 20 years with 14 to serve and the remaining six to be under post release supervision. He was found guilty by a jury for the charge of accessory after the fact of second-degree murder, according to documentation filed with the Pearl River County Circuit Court.

His son, Michael Audy McCool, 32, was sentenced to 40 years each for two counts of second-degree murder. Both sentences will be served consecutively, the documentation states.

“In effect, it’s an 80 year sentence,” said 15th District Attorney Hal Kittrell.

Both were found guilty by a jury of their peers during court proceedings held in late January.

It took about a week of testimony and nearly a day of deliberation for the jury to find both McCools guilty of their respective charges.

The trial was based on a case that began on Jan. 23, 2016. That day, the defendants entered a gun store previously operating on Henleyfield McNeill Road to dispute a $25 fee for repairs to a gun that Michael McCool had dropped off a week prior.

When Jason McLemore, who owned the store, arrived with his son, Jacob, to speak with Michael and Audy, because they had become belligerent with the owner’s wife, a verbal altercation ensued between the four men. That verbal altercation eventually became physical, leading to five shots being fired from Michael’s gun that resulted in the deaths of 17-year-old Jacob McLemore and his father, 44-year-old Jason. Only one bullet was fired from Jason’s gun, and Jacob’s gun was said to be fully loaded, according to testimony during the trial.

Testimony during the court proceedings showed that Michael feigned ignorance to the charge upon arriving to the store that day, even though Jason’s wife testified during the trial that she overheard her husband tell Michael the day prior there would be a fee to collect the gun since parts had already been ordered.

Inside one of the McCool’s wallet the day of the incident was $25, according to court testimony.

Kittrell said that the McCools have 10 days to file for an appeal or new trial.

At present, both men are in the custody of the Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department, Kittrell said.