Police: Man Kills Two on Thanksgiving Day

By: Cameron Taylor & Jamie Burch Email
By: Cameron Taylor & Jamie Burch Email

GRACEVILLE - A Graceville man is accused of killing his father and his girlfriend on Thanksgiving Day.

Police arrested 31-year-old Joseph Gilley early Friday morning and charged him with two counts of open murder.

Around 10:45 Thursday night, a local resident flagged down police saying they heard gunshots at a home on Peanut Road. That’s where officers found the bodies of James Gilley, 71, and Alicia Sapp.

Gilley was arrested around 3:30 a.m. after a five hour manhunt at a relatives home nearby.

"This entire thing is kind of a shock for this small community. Living in a small, rural town, you really wouldn't think something like this would happen," said Sharon Douse, a neighbor.

Investigators determined a car, belonging to one of the victims, was missing. They found it about 2:00 a.m. Friday, abandoned south of Graceville on a dirt road. Police believe Gilley stole the car after shooting the pair.

Neighbors say they never would have imagined something like this happening in their small community.

"I moved from a large inner city to get away from crime, the gun violence, families not getting along and it just happened right next door," said Douse.

Gilley previously served prison time for burglary and grand theft. He will be in court Saturday for his first appearance.

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