Deputies charge man with killing wife

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 26, 2000

A former Adams County resident was charged with murder Tuesday for allegedly injecting his wife with prescription medication last month. James &uot;Jamie&uot;&160;Pecanty, 22, of Monterey, La., turned himself into authorities Tuesday and was arrested in connection with the March 9 death of his wife, Margaret Merrylon Baker Pecanty, 28.

&uot;This is the first murder in my career that I can recall of this nature,&uot;&160;said Adams County Sheriff Tommy Ferrell.

According to sheriff’s reports, Pecanty called the sheriff’s office at 6:11 a.m. on March 9 to report a drug overdose at 66 Village Square Apartments off U.S. 61 North.

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When deputies arrived, they found Margaret Pecanty dead, Ferrell said. The initial investigation suggested the prescription drug Seconal played a factor in the death, he said. Officials think the drugs, which were in pill or capsule form, had been melted down and injected.

Ferrell said Margaret Pecanty had a prescription for the drug, which is a habit-forming barbiturate commonly used as a sleep aid. Investigators first thought the case was a simple drug overdose. Other prescription drugs were also found at the scene and were thought to have been taking the medications for health problems.

&uot;She was found, on the arrival of officers, in her bed,&uot; Ferrell said. &uot;She had supposedly been asleep all night.&uot;

As part of the investigation officials are still awaiting final results on blood and fluid samples. &uot;I’m waiting to get more information from the (Mississippi) crime lab,&uot;&160;said Adams County Coroner James Lee.

The coroner’s office should receive the final lab report in the middle of next week, he said.

Ferrell would not comment on specific details of the case but thinks the department had enough evidence to charge Pecanty with murder. &uot;I have to commend the tenacious investigation that went on,&uot; he said.

In the warrant issued for Pecanty, officials accuse him as having murdered his wife &uot;by injecting a dangerous controlled substance.&uot;

After Margaret Pecanty’s death, James Pecanty, who has family in Monterey, moved to live near family in Union County, Ark.

He turned himself to the Adams&160;County Sheriff’s Office Tuesday night after being summoned by local officials. &uot;He knew we were suspicious of him from day one,&uot; said Ferrell, who said he was not surprised but was relieved that Pecanty had cooperated.

J.S. Baker, Margaret Pecanty’s father, declined comment on the case but did say &uot;I hope justice is done.&uot;

Pecanty will be arraigned at 1 p.m. today in Adams County Justice Court.