Husband arrested after fatal shooting in McDuffie County

Published: Sep. 7, 2022 at 12:43 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 8, 2022 at 12:10 PM EDT
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THOMSON, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - A husband called 911 Wednesday after shooting his wife and was arrested on a murder charge following a brief standoff in McDuffie County, authorities reported.

Coroner Paul Johnson identified the victim as Virginia Sue Wilson, 75.

Her husband, James Wilson III, 74, was arrested by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the McDuffie County Sheriff’s Office. He was charged with murder and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony and booked into McDuffie County jail, according to authorities.

The case unfolded after deputies received a 911 call from the husband at 10 a.m. Wednesday.

Sheriff Logan Marshall said he arrived at the home in the 1400 block of Augusta Highway and found James Wilson in the driveway sitting on the ground with a handgun pointed to his chest.

The sheriff said the man said, “I messed up,” and that his wife was in the house.

Negotiations with the husband continued until about 11:50 a.m. when he surrendered peacefully.

Assisting with the case, members of the Columbia County Special Response Team entered the residence and found the body of his wife in a rear bedroom.

A preliminary investigation revealed the husband shot his wife just before calling 911, according to authorities.

Deputies had not been called to the home in the past.

The body will be transported to the GBI crime lab in Decatur, where an autopsy will be performed to determine the cause and manner of death.

How to help

The GBI Region 7 field office and McDuffie County Sheriff’s Office are continuing the investigation. Upon completion, the results of the investigation will be turned over to the Toombs Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office. Anyone with information is asked to call the GBI at 706-595-2575 or the McDuffie County Sheriff’s Office at 706-595-2040.

Tips can also be submitted by calling 800-597-8477, online at, or by downloading the “See Something, Send Something” mobile app.