In July 2019, we posted about the weird murder-suicide of Emeri Connery and her cousin Bailey Smith. The Lee County Commonwealth’s Attorney, H. Fuller Cridlin has now released his report on their deaths.
Timeline of Events
The report confirms that their deaths were the result of a murder-suicide, with Bailey being the killer. No third parties were involved and all gunshots came from inside the vehicle.
– March 10, 2019 – Emeri and Bailey attended a family wedding in Big Stone Gap, Virginia.
– They left the wedding together and traveled to Johnson City, TN to meet up with some of Bailey’s friends. They arrived there about 8pm.
– Bailey parked his vehicle in a restricted parking area, and as a result, it was towed. He recovered the vehicle not long after.
– Emeri and Bailey left Johnson City at around 1.15am in March 11, 2019. They had both been drinking. Bailey was driving and Emeri was in the front passenger seat. No other passengers were in the car.
– At 1.46am, there is a final search done on Emeri’s phone. She looked for the location of a close McDonald’s. Her phone is not active after this time.
– Bailey and Emeri drive-through a McDonald’s restaurant in Gray, TN at around 1.54am. They are seen on surveillance to be the only ones in the vehicle.
– At this time, Bailey was FaceTiming with a friend. The friend later said Bailey seemed intoxicated.
– After the FaceTime call, Bailey makes no other calls. He does send texts and tells people that Emeri is asleep. Shortly before the upcoming car crash, Bailey declines an incoming call.
– Just before 4am, (there had been a time change due to daylight savings), their car crashes into a mile marker in Lee County, VA.
– A VSP trooper arrived on scene at 4.36am. He observed no damage to the vehicle, apart from what had occurred during the crash. The windows of the vehicle were rolled up.
– Once the trooper observed that the victims had gunshot wounds, he called the VSP Bureau of Criminal Investigation.
– A forensic examination of the vehicle determined that there was no effort made to either brake or accelerate right before the crash. This likely means that Bailey shot himself before the crash and was incapacitated.
– Three gunshots were fired from inside the vehicle. One struck Emeri in the upper cheek, killing her. Another bullet traveled through the driver’s seat and did not strike anybody. The third gunshot is the one that killed Bailey.
– Bailey’s gun was found on the seat near his midsection, in a position that is consistent with suicide.
-Forensics determined that all three bullets had been fired from Bailey’s gun.
– Blood spatter analysis of the car showed that the shootings had occurred before the crash. Blood spatter patterns indicate that the airbags deployed after the shots were fired.
– There was no evidence of a struggle in the vehicle.
– Bailey died from a self-inflicted gunshot to the right temple.
The office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney has now closed the case
To me, the report raises so many new questions. Was Emeri still asleep when she was shot? If she was awake, what caused Bailey to snap?
Following their deaths, Bailey’s BAC was found to be almost double the legal limit. Emeri’s BAC was under the limit. Why was Bailey driving, and not Emeri?
What was the deal with the third gunshot? Was he fumbling for his gun for whatever reason, and was Emeri’s death an accident? I can’t really fathom how he managed or why he fired a random gunshot through the driver’s seat.
There is still plenty of online speculation about the events of March 11, 2019. Come join us in our Facebook group for more discussion on this case.