Sunday, July 11, 2021

Local attorney and unknown victim found shot in Tyler Ave home

Investigators search for identity of mystery body

Oxford attorney Robert Pruitt, 39, was found dead of an apparent gunshot wound in his home last night.

Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department Public Information Officer Elizabeth Jones said Pruitt's wife discovered his body when she returned from out of town.

In addition to Pruitt's body, Jones said an unidentified man was also found dead in the Pruitt home.

"There was another, unidentified individual in the residence, also dead from an apparent gunshot wound," Jones said. "We are attempting to identify this man and the reason he was in the Pruitt residence." Jones would not comment on whether the incident is believed to be a double murder or a murder/suicide.

Jones declined to offer any more details about the deaths and requested that anyone who might know anything about this incident please contact the Sheriff's Department.

Sources with the Sheriff's Department predict that this will be a difficult case for the already overworked department to solve.

"Two bodies, apparently unrelated, with no witnesses will be a tough nut to crack," said one source who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Former prosecutor now a successful defense attorney

Sign for the Law Offices of Pruitt & Rayburn
Robert Pruitt was a founding partner of Pruitt & Rayburn

Robert Pruitt was a 2004 graduate of the University of Mississippi, where he went on to earn his law degree. He passed the bar in 2008 and went to work for the Yoknapatawpha County District Attorney's Office.

He left the DA's office in 2011 to form a private practice with fellow ADA Gary Rayburn.

"We built a business together and helped a lot of folks," said Rayburn. "I can't believe he's gone. This is just a terrible tragedy."

Since turning his attention to criminal defense, Pruitt represented a number of high profile murder defendants in Oxford and most recently took over the defense of accused killer Ed Harbison after Harbison's attorney suffered a debilitating stroke on the eve of trial last fall.

"[Pruitt] was a great attorney and an even better person," said UM law professor Dwight Barlow. "We'll all miss him."

Robert Pruitt is survived by his wife, Vanessa. Funeral arrangements have not been announced.

By Kemper Jones at 8:30 AM

 

People in this conversation

Comments (5)

This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

The plot thickens

  Rima Mathewson
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Seems like being a high profile criminal defense attorney might have something to do with his murder, eh?

  Cherrie
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

This is what I have gathered.
The car crash was not an accident. Therefore, whoever caused it is trying to cover their tracks. They figured that Robert could be a possible liability to their plan and needed to eleminate him. Therefore, when...

This is what I have gathered.
The car crash was not an accident. Therefore, whoever caused it is trying to cover their tracks. They figured that Robert could be a possible liability to their plan and needed to eleminate him. Therefore, when Robert was home, they broke in or the key found in the evidence was to Robert's house and got in. BUT, there is more than one person. There was different hair found on the scene. I see that they broke in and Robert heard. He then went to find a weapon and found a gun. He shot one of them, not knowing there were more and relaxed. Then came the others and they are the ones who killed him and got away, making it look like it was just a robbery where the victim was injured and killed the robber, then died from blood loss later on.
This is just what I gathered from what was given on the evidence found, the fingerprints, the trace evidence and article.

Read More
  ADL
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

I find it interesting, He was the brother of a dead attorney 2 or 3 cases back. Different name of course.

  Lyn M Polentia
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Were they both shot with the same gun? Projectory and Who does or does not have gun powder on them.

  Lyn M Polentia
There are no comments posted here yet

New Info for Detectives



Countdown until Case Officers get new information

Login

Weekly Updates

Get weekly updates on the investigation.
      Click to view previous updates

Contact

Crime Scene
3602 N 16th St
Phoenix, AZ 85016

Voice (623) 565-8573
Fax (602)-274-7280

For Crime Scene Store inquiries: store@crimescene.com

For technical assistance: support@crimescene.com

Go to top