Murder victim was former principal at Batesville Middle 11/12/2013

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Former Batesville Middle School Principal Carol Gary.

Murder victim was former principal at Batesville Middle

By Rupert Howell
Investigators arrested 25-year-old Regis Mister in connection with the death of his mother, former Batesville Middle School principal Carol Lavett Gary, 43, and her 12-year-old son, Patrick Earl Gary Jr., who were found dead in their South Oaks subdivision home in Oxford Friday morning.

Mister was living with both the victims in a home on County Road 301 in Oxford.

Published reports state he has no previous encounters with police but he was being investigated by the state auditor’s office for possible embezzlement while employed as deputy in Yalobusha County. He had served as school resource officer, according to District Attorney John Champion.
The two were found at the home after police received a 911 call about 6 a.m. Friday.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Gary was currently principal at Davidson Elementary in Water Valley. The child was a student at Oxford Middle School.

She had served in the South Panola District for two years and was described by former South Panola School Superintendent Dr. Keith Shaffer as, “A good school leader who led her school through a lot of growth.”

Shaffer said Gary was a team player who, “drove folks hard. She was all business and that was a good thing.”

Shaffer explained that Gary had come to South Panola District from Water Valley and returned to that district as test coordinator then principal.

She  worked at Davidson Elementary in Water Valley for 12 years as assistant principal and teacher until 2009 when she left to become principal at Batesville Middle School. She returned to Davidson in 2012 as curriculum coordinator before taking over as principal this year.

It was a somber opening to Friday night’s playoff football game in Water Valley as spectators, faculty and players paused to honor the memory of the slain elementary school principal and her 12-year old son according to a report in the Water Valley newspaper, The North Mississippi Herald’s online edition.

Players from Kossuth and Water Valley lined opposite endzones as Water Valley Superintendent Kim Chrestman spoke about the difficult day, the impact on the students and the outpouring of support from community, faculty and students, the Herald’s account read.

Hundreds of balloons were released by students and staff rising away through the Friday night lights into the dark sky in memory of Dr. Gary and her son.

“The ceremony brought closure to the first day in a tragedy that will linger in the community in coming days, weeks, and months,” said the Herald’s news story.