Arrest in attack leads officers to suspect in 2021 murder of Mississippi businesswoman

Published 12:37 pm Sunday, October 22, 2023

Police believe they now know the killer of a 77-year-old Mississippi woman who was brutally killed in her home in 2021.

After responding to an attack at an Amory residence on Oct. 19, police believe the man arrested in Thursday’s attack is the person responsible for the death of Judy Baxter, 77, who was an Amory business owner and community advocate.

The Monroe Journal reported on the arrest and discovery. 

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Because of similarities investigators discovered between the Baxter murder and Thursday’s attack, Darcus Oneal Neely, 37, of Amory, was apprehended and charged with capital murder in Baxter’s death and attempted murder in Thursday s attack.

Neely is being held without bond in Monroe County.

The female victim in Thursday’s attack, whose name was not released, was alert but in serious condition, police said. She was transported to North Mississippi Medical Center in Tupelo.

Baxter was killed Aug. 12, 2021 at her home alongside 12th Avenue N.

She previously owned Amory Lawn & Pool Services, and her affiliations included membership at First United Methodist Church and in the Kiwanis Club and Amory Main Street.