Ashley Henley

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Ashley Henley
Member of the Mississippi House of Representatives
from the 40th district
In office
January 5, 2016 – January 7, 2020
Preceded byPat Nelson
Succeeded byHester Jackson-McCray
Personal details
Born(1981-05-17)May 17, 1981
DiedJune 13, 2021(2021-06-13) (aged 40)[1]
Water Valley, Mississippi
Political partyRepublican
SpouseBrandon Henley

Ashley Henley (May 17, 1981 – June 13, 2021) was an American teacher and politician from Southaven, Mississippi, who served in the Mississippi House of Representatives from the 40th district from 2016 to 2020. She was a member of the Republican Party.

Early life and career[edit]

Henley taught in the DeSoto County School District for 13 years. She was also an adjunct instructor in American history at Northwest Mississippi Community College.[2][3]

Political career[edit]

Henley first ran as a Republican for the Mississippi House of Representatives in the 40th district in the 2015 Republican primary against Pat Nelson, the incumbent.[4] She was one of several challengers to incumbent legislators not supporting private voucher schools who defeated the incumbents with financial assistance from the political action committee of Empower Mississippi.[5][6][7]

In 2019, Henley lost her re-election bid to Hester Jackson-McCray, a member of the Democratic Party, by 14 votes. Henley brought suit in state court to overturn the election results.[8] Henley sought a do-over election, but the Mississippi House declined her request, seating Jackson-McCray.[9]

After leaving the state house, Henley worked for the Mississippi Center for Public Policy as a legislative fellow.[10]

Personal life[edit]

Henley was married to Brandon Henley. They had a son together.[11]


On June 13, 2021, Henley was shot and killed in Water Valley, Mississippi, close to a trailer where her sister-in-law's burned body was found in December 2020.[12][13] The sister-in-law's death was reported to be the result of a trailer fire. Though the investigation is ongoing, investigators said since Henley's shooting they are looking at the sister-in-law's death "with fresh eyes".[13][14] Henley and her husband had previously said that investigators concluded Henley's sister-in-law Kristina Michelle Jones died in an arson, but the couple said Jones was murdered as there was no smoke in Jones's lungs at autopsy, indicating that Jones must have died prior to the fire.[15] The couple also said that law enforcement in Yalobusha County was refusing to do anything substantial about it.[16][15]


  1. ^ Salo, Jackie (June 16, 2021). "Ex-Mississippi lawmaker shot dead may have been targeted, husband says". New York Post. Retrieved June 19, 2021.
  2. ^ Wagster Pettus, Emily (November 30, 2015). "New state lawmakers bring broad experience". The Delta Democrat-Times. p. A4. Retrieved June 15, 2021 – via
  3. ^ Randall, Mark (June 14, 2021). "Authorities investigating murder of former Rep. Ashley Henley". DeSoto Times-Tribune. Retrieved June 15, 2021.
  4. ^ Clarion-Ledger, Kate Royals The. "DeSoto incumbents unseated by PAC-supported challengers". The Clarion-Ledger. Retrieved June 18, 2021.
  5. ^ "Major upsets noted in DeSoto County". The Clarion-Ledger. Jackson, Mississippi. August 5, 2015. Retrieved December 16, 2018.
  6. ^ "Ashley Henley". Archived from the original on January 29, 2016. Retrieved December 16, 2018.
  7. ^ Royals, Kate (August 5, 2015). "DeSoto incumbents unseated by PAC-supported challengers". The Clarion-Ledger. Jackson, Mississippi. Retrieved June 15, 2021.
  8. ^ "White GOP Rep Who Lost to Black Dem Wants Election Overturned". Jackson Free Press. December 9, 2019. Retrieved December 10, 2019.
  9. ^ "Mississippi House upholds election of Hester Jackson McCray". The Clarion-Ledger. Jackson, Mississippi. Retrieved June 15, 2021.
  10. ^ Ulmer, Sarah (June 14, 2021). "Former State Representative Ashley Henley reported dead".
  11. ^ Johnson, Kailynn. "Over $5K raised after former Miss. state rep killed". WTOK. Retrieved June 16, 2021.
  12. ^ "Former DeSoto Co. rep found dead months after sister-in-law at same place". WDAM. June 14, 2021. Retrieved June 14, 2021.
  13. ^ a b "Mystery as US politician is found murdered at same spot where her sister-in-law was found dead". The Independent. June 15, 2021. Retrieved June 16, 2021.
  14. ^ Sorace, Stephen (June 16, 2021). "Former Mississippi lawmaker shot dead on same property where she believed sister-in-law was murdered: reports". Fox News. Retrieved June 16, 2021.
  15. ^ a b "Ex-legislator in Mississippi killed on same property where sister-in-law's body found". NBC News. Retrieved June 16, 2021.
  16. ^ Peiser, Jaclyn (June 15, 2021). "Ex-lawmaker insisted her sister-in-law was murdered in burned trailer. Now she's been killed at the same site". The Washington Post. Retrieved June 15, 2021.

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