Commonwealth Journal

January 12, 2013

Coroner says autopsy confirms double-shooting was murder-suicide

By HEATHER TOMLINSON, CJ Staff Writer
Commonwealth Journal

Somerset —  

Preliminary autopsy results have been returned on a couple who died last week just hours before their son’s funeral.
“It looks like it’s been confirmed as a murder-suicide,” said Pulaski County Coroner Chuck Godbey, about the death of Billy Eugene Baugh, 54, and his wife Shirley Sneed Baugh, 53.
The couple died Wednesday afternoon. An investigation by the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department revealed that Billy Baugh shot Shirley with a handgun and then turned the weapon on himself. The incident happened at their home on Edwards Road, located off Rush Branch Road just outside of the Somerset city limits.
The couple's bodies were taken to Frankfort for autopsies, which were performed on Thursday.
Billy and Shirley Baugh were grieving the loss of their son, Clarence Baugh, 27, who died in a car accident in Lincoln County last Sunday.  The Baughs were supposed to lay Clarence to rest at 3 p.m. Friday – just a few hours after they were found by their other son and Clarence’s brother.
Godbey said no note was left that would explain what happened, but investigators, after talking with family members, stated that the couple had been “distraught” over Clarence’s death and it may have led to Wednesday’s tragedy.
“Billy and Shirley were having trouble coping with their son’s death and that may have contributed to (Wednesday’s) shooting incident," said Lt. Brett Whitaker, with the sheriff's department.
Godbey said it appeared Shirley Baugh died from a gunshot wound to the chest, and Billy Baugh died from a gunshot wound to the head.
 “This is just an absolute tragedy,” said Pulaski County Sheriff Todd Wood on Wednesday. “They were preparing to bury their son (Clarence).
 “They were already dealing with a lot going into (Wednesday), and to have this added to it is just incredible,” Wood later said. “Our thoughts and prayers are certainly with them.”
Funeral arrangements for Billy and Shirley Baugh are being handled by Southern Oaks Funeral Home.
Billy Baugh’s funeral is set for today at 2 p.m. at the funeral home.
Shirley Baugh’s funeral is slated for 2 p.m. today as well at the funeral home.