Florida man wanted in 3 killings is dead, sheriff’s office says

William "Billy" Boyette and Mary Rice (Escambia County Sheriff's Office)

TROUP COUNTY, Ga. — A Florida man suspected of being involved in three killings is dead and his female alleged accomplice was taken into custody, the Troup County Sheriff’s Office in Georgia said Tuesday.

Sgt. Stewart Smith said William “Billy” Boyette Jr., 44, died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound inside the West Point Motel near the border with Alabama. His companion, Mary Barbara Craig Rice, was taken into custody.

Smith gave no other details about the end to an hours-long standoff that began when authorities were alerted that a stolen car the couple was driving was at the motel.

The pair were wanted in three slayings and a separate shooting over the past week in southern Alabama and the Florida Panhandle.

Boyette was a suspect in the killings of two women in Northwest Florida last Tuesday as well as the fatal shooting of another woman in Alabama on Friday, the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office in Florida said. It, too, said Boyette was dead.

Authorities say Boyette may have dyed her hair orange. The pair were wanted on murder and robbery charges in the killing of Peggy Broz, 52, Friday morning at her home in Lillian, Alabama, according to the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office. Authorities say they stole Broz’s car and fled to nearby Florida.

The pair are believed to be behind the shooting of Kayla Crocker, 28, during a home invasion in suburban Pensacola on Monday morning. Crocker is in the hospital, police told WEAR-TV.

Law enforcement said Crocker was randomly targeted about 6:30 a.m. Monday by the suspects. Her 2-year-old son was present in the house and was unharmed, police said.

Boyette and Rice allegedly stole Crocker’s vehicle and drove to a gas station and then to a Hardee’s for breakfast, WEAR reports.

The investigation began Jan. 31, when Boyette was named as a suspect in the killings of Alicia Greer, 30, and Jacqueline Moore, 39. The two women were found shot to death in a motel room in Milton, Florida, police said.

Greer and Boyette had started dating several months ago, her parents Wayne and Kim Lane told WALA. Her mother described Greer as “goofy” and “bubbly” and said she would do anything for anybody, according to WALA.

It was not clear Tuesday whether Rice, 37, is connected to those killings, but Sheriff Johnson of Santa Rosa County said she will face charges of accessory after the fact.

Boyette had an extensive criminal history, including accusations of aggravated battery and domestic violence, the Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office said.