A middle aged Oxford man shot and killed his girlfriend Tuesday night before turning the gun on himself in an attempted murder-suicide.
Rick Breedlove, 54, allegedly shot his girlfriend Pam Spencer, 49, with a .357 Magnum revolver at about 8:15 p.m. after an argument between the couple. He then shot himself in the face in an attempted suicide, said Newton County Sheriff's Lt. Bill Watterson.
The murder occurred at 25 Hickory Hill Drive on the residence's back porch. A call to 911 was made from the house before the shooting, but there was no one on the line when the dispatcher answered. A NCSO unit was sent to the house for a "trouble, unknown call with shots fired."
Once the deputies arrived, they found Spencer laying face down on the floor and Breedlove lying on his left side. The suspected murder weapon lay on the ground close to the suspect. He was later airlifted to an Atlanta hospital.
Investigators have been in contact with Breedlove at the hospital, but formal charges have not been filed. Watterson said he expects Breedlove to be charged with murder.
There is reportedly no evidence that drugs or alcohol were involved in the shootings.
Spencer's death marks the 14th murder or manslaughter case in the county since Sept. 27, 2007.
"We have not seen a break in these murder and manslaughter investigations," Watterson said. "Sometimes we are working two at a time. They have been an unprecedented series of cases. We're waiting on this cycle to stop. We still have November and December to go this year, and these were big months for homicides last year."
All four deaths in 2006 occurred after September while the 10 deaths in 2007 have stretched throughout the year. In comparison, there were two homicides reported in 2004 and one in 2005.
The NCSO has made arrests in all 14 cases except the recent murder and dismemberment of a woman on Ga. Highway 162.
"Our success in these cases is due to the excellent work of the Criminal Investigations Division, the deputy sheriffs on the road, the GBI, the Coroner's Office, other law enforcement agencies and the public," Watterson said.
Manslaughter investigations are just as labor intensive as murder investigations, Watterson said, which has led to the NCSO to prioritize their case load.
There are no patterns in the murders, which range from family violence to armed robbery and have often involved long-time members of the community.