Jackson County man accused of killing father, charged with first-degree murder

An Ocean Springs man is behind bars for allegedly killing his dad. He had his initial appearance in court today.

Forty-eight-year-old Robert Baxter was arrested in Gulfport for first-degree murder – after police found his elderly father dead in their shared home. Lawmen tracked Baxter to Gulfport about six hours later, where they found him walking along the beach.

Baxter appeared in court Wednesday, where Judge Mark Watts denied his bond.

The accused killer told News 25 that a fight broke out between himself and the 77-year-old Thomas Baxter after tensions had built for years. The younger Baxter alleged his father had abused him and his siblings, causing a rift in the family.

Baxter said he believes the murder charge against him is too severe – as he told a reporter that his father’s death was an accident.

Neighbors and police said the two men had a history of confrontation. Sgt. Shane Bozeman said, “He does have some prior offenses, domestic, public drunk, things of that (nature) — no prior felonies that we know of at this time.”

If you see something, say something. Domestic violence situations are known to escalate to murder. “You know, a lot of times people don’t want to get involved, but there are ways you can report it anonymously and at least let us go check it out and make sure that everybody’s OK.”

A court date has not been set but Judge Watts says Baxter may enter a plea as early as February.

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