Man accused of Tate County mass shooting faces death penalty

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The suspect accused of shooting and killing six people in Arkabutla in February could be met with the death penalty.

According to District Attorney for the 17th Circuit Court Jay Hale, state prosecutors are seeking to have 52-year-old Richard Dale Crum executed as a result of his two capital murder charges that stemmed from the alleged killing of six victims, including Florida resident Chris Eugene Boyce and his ex-wife, Debra McNally Crum.

Crum was said to have started his “shooting rampage” at a convenience store in Arkabutla around 11:00 a.m. on Friday, February 17. The small, unincorporated town is comprised of approximately 285 people and is located around 45 miles south of Memphis.

Officials have stated that Crum began shooting at 59-year-old Boyce and his brother, Doug, while they were sitting in a pickup truck. Florida resident Boyce and Alaska native Doug had traveled to Arkabutla to work on a property that was recently inherited by a deceased uncle.

Doug, who was in the passenger seat of the vehicle, fled the scene after the shooting began and ran into a nearby wooded area with Crum following.

Crum then traveled to the house of his ex-wife and her boyfriend, George Drane, where he injured Drane with the butt of his gun before shooting Debra Crum.

Following the second victim’s death, Crum killed two construction workers, 76-year-old Charles Manuel and 59-year-old John Rorie, who were located on a road near his house.

Several minutes later, Crum entered the home of his stepfather, George McCain, 73, which he was living with at the time. Crum then shot McCain and his stepfather’s sister, 78-year-old Lynda McCain.

In addition to the capital murder charges, Crum in November was indicted on one count of first-degree murder and two counts of aggravated assault.

A mental health evaluation is the next step in the process of having Crum considered for death row.

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