Saucier woman accused of fatally shooting her boyfriend

Published 5:19 pm Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Bond has been set at $250,000 for a Saucier woman charged with murder in the weekend slaying of her boyfriend.

Kimberly Michelle Beard was arrested Saturday on a murder charge in the slaying of 50-year-old Jesten Phelps.

Phelps’ body was discovered in the couple’s residence Saturday, but it appears he had been dead for about a week, said Harrison County Coroner Gary Hargrove.

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“I feel certain it was domestic-related,” said Sheriff George H. Payne Jr.

Beard, 40, and Phelps lived together, according to investigators.

Deputies found Phelps’ body after they responded to a call about a foul odor coming from the residence, Hargrove said.

Hargrove said an autopsy showed Phelps died from a gunshot wound to the head.

Beard was arrested at a home in Perkinston.

Investigators said they recovered the alleged murder weapon.

Beard was held Tuesday at the Harrison County Adult Detention Center. Bond was set Monday during her initial court appearance.

Information from: The Sun Herald,