Custody issue at root of Pike County slayings

MURFREESBORO (AP) - Authorities say a Pike County man arrested for killing his estranged wife, his mother-in-law and a 9-year-old niece was upset because he thought he would lose custody of his two young sons.

Vigils are set for Tuesday evening for the victims, 54-year-old Julie Hartsfield, her 33-year-old daughter Dana Hill and her 9-year-old granddaughter Autumn Hartsfield. They were fatally shot near Delight on Saturday evening.

The suspect, 43-year-old Timothy Hill, is jailed on $1 million bond.

The Texarkana Gazette reports an arrest affidavit says Hill meant to shoot his mother-in-law, who was in a car. Hill told investigators he didn't know Autumn was also in the vehicle. Hill also claimed he shot his wife accidentally when he went back in the house.

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