REDDICK, FL — Harrell S. Jeffries, 56, claims that he was in fear for his life when he shot and killed 48-year-old William H. Markham, who had barged into his trailer and assaulted him with a stick, the Ocala Star Banner reports.
“I tried to protect myself from dying,” he said.
Fair enough. However, according to others, there is more to this story. While Jeffries admitted to knowing the man he shot, he would not go into any further detail. According to Markham’s family — that is a massive understatement.
On July 28, Marion County Sheriff’s Office deputies were called at 1:30 p.m. about a shooting in the 16000 block of Northwest Gainesville Road in Reddick. They were told that two individuals were involved in a physical altercation and one person was shot and the other was badly beaten.
Both men were transported to UF Health Shands Hospital in Gainesville, where Markham died. Officials said Jeffries was released later that day. Markham’s family said Thursday that the dispute was over a woman, who both men were seeing.
William Markham Sr. said Jeffries used to work for his son and that his son would give Jeffries money to help him. Jo Ann Markham said her son was “a good guy and everyone who knew him liked him. He was always trying to help someone. That was the type of guy he was,” she said.
It may well be that Markham had threatened the life of Jeffries. If he was badly beaten, that would certainly reinforce the idea. However, an underlying relationship and a possible fight over a woman certainly does complicate things.
The takeaway from this incident? We don’t know, because we don’t have all of the details leading up to Markham going into the trailer of Jeffries. If a guy is messing around with your girl, it’s probably best to just walk away. The girl isn’t worth it, after all.
We can’t blame Jeffries for defending himself if the details are true, but it’s a damn shame that it came to this over another person. But alas, this seems to happen pretty often.
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