2011: Year in Review – Price shootings shake New Albany

By Danza Johnson | NEMS Daily Journal

NEW ALBANY – When police responded to a call on Murrah Road on Dec. 5, what they found shocked New Albany residents.
Amanda Price, a school district employee and the wife of New Albany head football coach Ron Price, was lying in the couple’s backyard with a bullet wound to the chest, and Ron Price was in the house with a bullet wound to the shoulder. Amanda Price died shortly afterward at Baptist Memorial Hospital in New Albany, while her husband underwent surgery at North Mississippi Medical Center in Tupelo.
Police Chief David Grisham said the Price shootings were an apparent robbery gone wrong. The night of the shootings there were reports that several vehicles in the Prices’ neighborhood had been burglarized, and Grisham said early on he felt the burglaries and the shootings were connected.
After two weeks of speculation, dead-end leads and a community demanding answers, an arrest was made. Craig Obrien Baker, 20, was charged Dec. 19 with one count of capital murder, one count of aggravated assault and two counts of auto burglary.
Baker lived in the trailer park less than a mile from where the Prices lived, according to Grisham. After tips came in that he may have been involved in the crimes, police searched Baker’s home and reportedly found two guns – a .380-caliber pistol and a rifle. According to a preliminary autopsy report, Amanda Price was shot once in the chest with a .380-caliber pistol.
Ballistics on the gun have not been completed so it is unknown if the gun found at Baker’s home was the gun used to shoot the Prices. The rifle, according to Grisham, was stolen from one of the Prices’ neighbor’s vehicles the night of the shooting.
The case is expected to be presented to grand jurors early in 2012.
danza.johnson@journalinc.com