published Tuesday, April 12th, 2011

Man shoots wife then killed by sheriff’s deputy

  • photo
    Bleach and broken glass remain outside of a Bahamas Drive home in Murray County, Ga., after two people were shot and killed Sunday evening. Staff Photo by Angela Lewis/Chattanooga Times Free Press

CHATSWORTH, Ga. — Howard Pullen heard the gunshots. They were deafening.

“The bullet sounded like it came from my yard. It was so loud,” said Pullen.

He ran down the hill to the home of his neighbors, Kenneth Green and his wife, Peggy Sue Green Hamby, only to find the couple dead and a Murray County Sheriff’s Office deputy crying.

“That just tore the deputy up,” he said.

Green was shot to death by the deputy after the 45-year-old turned a hunting rifle on the officer, authorities said. Moments before, Green had used the same rifle to kill 46-year-old Hamby, officials said.

The deputy was off Monday and today, but he will be allowed to come back to work Wednesday at his choice, Murray County Sheriff Howard Ensley said. The deputy’s name is being withheld at the request of the family, Ensley said.

“He’s distraught,” the sheriff said.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is investigating the incident to ensure that the correct policies were followed in the officer-involved shooting. But Ensley said it appears the deputy did everything right.

Green and Hamby apparently had a tumultuous relationship, according to authorities. After Green was arrested on aggravated assault charges for hitting Hamby in September, the court issued an order, telling him to stay away from her.

Yet they continued to live together.

Green also was a convicted felon on a 1998 charge of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, so he wasn’t supposed to have a rifle.

“He wasn’t supposed to be near her,” said Ensley. “He wasn’t supposed to have a gun.”

On Sunday night, though, Green put a gun up to his wife’s body when she called 911 for help, the sheriff said. Hamby told a sheriff’s dispatcher that Green was threatening to kill her, himself and any law enforcement that showed up.

74 Bahamas Dr
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A deputy patrolling the area near the couple’s home off Bahamas Drive sped to the house within four minutes of the call, parked his vehicle quietly and tried to sneak up to the house, the sheriff said. But as the deputy reached the driveway, he saw Green standing in between two vehicles, firing a hunting rifle into Hamby, who was lying on the ground.

The deputy leapt up, shouting at Green to drop his gun, but the man aimed the rifle at the deputy and fired, the sheriff said. The deputy returned several shots, killing Green, Ensley said

When the deputy reached Hamby, she was already dead, Ensley said.

“All this happened in a couple of seconds,” he said. “It’s a very troubling situation.”

On Monday at the house, shattered glass lay spread on the ground near a broken window that was taped over with a garbage bag. A bottle of bleach sat on the brick step.

Friends drove by; a few neighbors stood near the house, shaking their heads.

“All I know is that they seemed to be good people,” Pullen said.

Hamby would bring the mail to her neighbors if it was misplaced, he said, and she would babysit another neighbor’s dogs.

She was remembered fondly at the local Chatsworth American Legion post, where she worked as a bartender.

“Everybody loved Peggy Sue to death,” said Michael Ponders, a member of the legion and also a neighbor.

Both Hamby and Green had previous records.

Hamby was charged on a DUI almost 10 years ago, Ensley said, while Green had the meth conviction as well as several misdemeanors, including DUIs and disorderly conduct charges.

Green’s latest arrest was in January after Dalton police charged him with harassing a former co-worker through a text message and phone calls, an incident report shows.

Contact staff writer Joy Lukachick at 423-757-6659 or

about Joy Lukachick Smith...

Joy Lukachick Smith is the city government reporter for the Chattanooga Times Free Press. Since 2009, she's covered crime and court systems in North Georgia and rural Tennessee, landed an exclusive in-prison interview with a former cop convicted of killing his wife, exposed impropriety in an FBI-led, child-sex online sting and exposed corruption in government agencies. Earlier this year, Smith won the Malcolm Law Memorial Award for Investigative Reporting. She also won first place in ...

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prettygirl said...

wow they finally shot someone in a trailor park? and not in the getto, good job police!

April 12, 2011 at 7:11 a.m.
prettygirl said...

it,s (o k) to post comments on how glad (people) are when blacks get shot? right, run to the delete botton or call the times! you cant handle the truth!!

April 12, 2011 at 7:17 a.m.
osama said...

boy that meth really makes ugly!

April 12, 2011 at 7:59 a.m.
ceeweed said...

Drugs, like Crack and Crystal, do not discriminate. Reveling in the tragic end-game, that results in violent deaths, to trade racist barbs is low bred behavior regardless of what color you are.

April 12, 2011 at 9:15 a.m.
chet123 said...

cant handle the truth.....NRA laughing all the way to the bank

April 12, 2011 at 10:20 a.m.
chet123 said...

with green record he shouldnt have had access to Guns.....but the NRA demand everybody should have GUNS without any limitation....

April 12, 2011 at 11:06 a.m.
LPS4881 said...

Pretty girl says "can't handle the truth" Your comments are not "truth" they just show ignorance.

April 12, 2011 at 2:41 p.m.
chet123 said...

LPS...Ignorance! so you smart and inform watching FOX news LOL got to be white to talk like that......most wives are killed by white men and police too.....check the fact guys kill one another(GANGS) with the truth.....stop watching fox news

April 12, 2011 at 4:50 p.m.
Leaf said...

Just because there are a few vocal racists doesn't mean that everyone is.

April 12, 2011 at 4:55 p.m.
chet123 said...

common knowledge that many white male that republican cant handle the truth.....THAT common knowledge "LP"

April 12, 2011 at 4:55 p.m.
chet123 said...

Hello leaf

April 12, 2011 at 4:56 p.m.
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