Woman charged with husband’s murder

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 14, 2003

NATCHEZ &045; A Kingston woman has been charged with murder in connection with the Sunday evening shooting of her husband, Adams County Sheriff Tommy Ferrell said.

Ronnie Loyd LaPrairie, 53, was pronounced dead at Natchez Regional Medical Center, Ferrell said.

LaPrairie’s 37 year-old wife, Donna, was taken into custody following the incident, which reportedly occurred in the carport area of the family’s wood-frame home at 132 Ogden Road.

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&uot;It appears the victim was shot once in the chest with a .20-gauge shotgun.

We received a call from the wife at about 5:30 p.m.,&uot; Ferrell said.

Ferrell said Donna LaPrairie sounded hysterical during the call and reported she had accidentally shot her husband.

Ferrell said the shooting apparently occurred in the presence of the couple’s two sons, ages 11 and 14.

&uot;They were getting ready to go squirrel hunting. We found three guns under the carport,&uot; Ferrell said.

An officer who responded to the scene was able to get a verbal statement from Ronnie LaPrairie, Ferrell said.

&uot;He still had vital signs when he was transported from the scene,&uot; Ferrell said.

Adams County Coroner James Lee said he pronounced LaPrairie dead at Natchez Regional Hospital at 6:15 p.m.

&uot;I’m definitely ruling this a homicide,’ Lee said.

Ferrell said additional statements taken from Donna LaPrairie and the two sons indicated that an argument had ensued between Ronnie LaPrairie and one of his sons.

&uot;Apparently, he (Ronnie) started hitting one of the boys, and she (Donna) ran out there and grabbed a shotgun and shot him,&uot; Ferrell said.

Ferrell said a shotgun and shell casing was recovered from the scene.

Ferrell said his department had received reports of domestic violence involving the LaPrairies in the past.

&uot;We worry all the time about domestic violence escalating, and this is a prime example of it,&uot; said Ferrell.

Ferrell said the two boys were released to the care of relatives Sunday night.