Boyfriend admits to killing DeSoto County woman

Michael Owens, photo courtesy DeSoto County Sheriff's Department.
Michael Owens, photo courtesy DeSoto County Sheriff's Department.

(WMC-TV) – A North Mississippi murder mystery is now solved. DeSoto County authorities announced Friday that Sherry Smith Percival's boyfriend confessed to her murder.

Michael Owens actually pleaded guilty Friday morning and was immediately sentenced to life in prison for beating Sherry Smith Percival to death with a tree limb.

The 47-year-old was already serving jail time for stealing Percival's food stamps.

The 50-year-old woman disappeared last summer after leaving a local lounge.

Her decomposed body finally found a week and a half ago off by two men doing survey work.

Sheriff Bill Rasco held a news conference this afternoon and said Michael Owens admitted he killed Percival during an apparent drug or alcohol fueled argument.

"He says he used a limb or a stick," he said. "We do know her skull was crushed on each side - that's what we know at this time"

Owens was a person of interest in this case from the beginning and finally cracked investigators say after Percival's remains were found.

Owens waived his right to a grand jury indictment which is why he is already on his way to state prison for life.

Owens does have a previous record, including a conviction in Texas for manslaughter and aggravated assault.

Copyright 2012 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.