Deaths ended rocky relationship that began in junior high

Published 11:44 am Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The bludgeoning death of a Vicksburg woman Monday morning appeared to be the final grim chapter in a rocky, violent marriage.

Mary Ann Jackson Truitt, 45, was found beaten to death in the kitchen of her home, 116 Lightcap Blvd., shortly before 6 a.m. by her 21-year-old son, Charles Truitt Jr., police Capt. Bobby Stewart said.

About four hours later, the body of the lone suspect, Mrs. Truitt’s ex-husband, Charles Truitt Sr., was found hanging in a tree above the graves in Cedar Hill Cemetery.

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About 200 yards from the graves, Mr. Truitt had crashed his ex-wife’s Honda on Lovers Lane. The vehicle was discovered about 7:30 a.m., and police believe Truitt hanged himself shortly after the crash, Stewart said.

“We are not sure why he went out there,” Stewart said. “It appeared that he may have intentionally tried to wreck the vehicle.”

The deaths have been ruled murder-suicide, Stewart said this morning.

Warren County Coroner Doug Huskey said today that autopsies performed Monday at the state crime lab in Jackson found Mary Ann Truitt died of blunt-force trauma to the head and her ex-husband died from strangulation.

The couple’s divorce was final Wednesday, and Mr. Truitt was to move out of the home he shared with his wife and children by Monday, Stewart said.

Instead of moving, Mr. Truitt apparently lost his temper and beat his ex-wife to death with a blunt object, police said.

Police declined to identify the object but said it was recovered.

Mrs. Truitt filed for divorce March 2 on grounds of habitual cruelty, inhumane treatment, habitual drunkenness and habitual drug use, according to documents on file with the Warren County Chancery Clerk.

The couple had married Jan. 6, 1995, and had two children, Charles Jr. and Chantae, 18. Both children lived at the Lightcap home, but Chantae was out of town Monday, family members said.

Gathered with grieving family members in front of the home Monday, Mrs. Truitt’s brother, Jerry Jackson, said Mr. Truitt had been prone to violence and drug abuse throughout the marriage.

Mr. Truitt was arrested a number of times for misdemeanors, police said. Officers had responded to the home at least four times for domestic violence, Stewart said. Mr. Truitt was convicted once of domestic violence, according to court records.

Mrs. Truitt’s twin sister, Ann Mary Nunnally, said her sister was the most giving person she has ever known.

“Even in this relationship she was everything to the whole family,” Nunnally said. “She was definitely the glue that kept the family together.”

Mrs. Truitt had worked at Rainbow Casino as lead deli worker for the past 12 years, Nunnally said.

“She was very dedicated,” she said.

Though the Truitts married in 1995, they had been dating since the early 1980s, Nunnally said.

“We all grew up together,” she said. “They had been together since we were in junior high.”

Charles Jr. called Nunnally early Monday morning and told her of Mrs. Truitt’s death. At first, Nunnally said, she thought maybe her sister had a heart attack, but there was a creeping bad feeling.

“Something told me that probably was the case but I didn’t want to believe that was it and then I found out she had been murdered,” she said.

Nunnally last spoke to her sister Sunday evening and said she prefers to remember her as someone who loved to be the life of the party.

“My sister was a fun-loving and just all-around crazy person. She just loved to have fun and she loved to make people laugh,” Nunnally said.

Attempts to reach Charles Jr. were not successful, but Nunnally said the young man was devastated to lose both of his parents.

“He’s not doing too good,” she said. “He’s trying to hold up and do what he can for right now.”

Mrs. Truitt had four brothers and five sisters and most of the family lives in the Vicksburg area. Funeral services are pending with Lakeview Funeral Home. Funeral plans for Mr. Truitt were unavailable this morning.