Murder suspect dead, accomplice arrested after manhunt

Investigators say the two drove across the state line and fatally shot Peggy Broz, 52, in Lillian, Alabama, on Friday, before taking Broz' vehicle. Authorities confirmed via video surveillance that Boyette and Rice took the stolen vehicle to a Shell gas station only minutes later and ate at a nearby Hardee's.

Agencies in Florida and Alabama are working together on the search for the suspects.

SOURCE Joe Craig
SOURCE Joe Craig

The pair were wanted on murder and robbery charges in the killing of Peggy Broz, 52, Friday morning at her home in Lillian, Alabama, according to the Baldwin County Sheriff's Office. Crocker was shot in her Beulah home Monday, and her vehicle was stolen by Boyette and Rice, according to investigators.

William "Billy" Boyette, 44, is dead, while Mary Rice, 37, was captured Tuesday, Escambia County Sheriff's Office officials said. Authorities say they stole Broz's auto and fled to nearby Florida. "In short we have a killer, he is in our midst ... everyone, and I mean everyone, should be aware of this, should be aware of what they look like". Her 2-year-old son reportedly was unharmed. Crocker's white Chevrolet Cobalt was stolen, and Morgan said that video surveillance showed the duo took the vehicle.

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Sheriff David Morgan told local news outlets that Boyette has a history of drug trafficking and is known to be a heavy user of the drug Spice. Arrest records show a consistent violent pattern in which Boyette is accused of attacking girlfriends, threatening to kill them and on numerous occasions allegedly beating or stabbing them until they called for help. Accessory after the fact to 1st degree murder in Santa Rosa County, and a warrant has been issued for 1st degree murder in Escambia County. "Whether the Alabama (District Attorney) believes it would be more beneficial to try her here first as an accessory to capital murder or to try her first in Alabama for capital murder, we will agree and defer to them". When Escambia County Sheriff's Office deputies arrived on scene, the victim was bleeding and crying as she directed police to a bedroom where her attacker had passed out with a large kitchen knife in his hand.

The big break in the case was a report from a citizen who spotted the white Chevy Cobalt the suspects stole from Crocker.

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Rice arrived at the Santa Rosa County Jail in Florida Wednesday evening.

The Troup County Sheriff's Department confirms that it has asked Georgia state patrol SWAT teams to assist with the situation.

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