Son, daughter-in-law arrested after Georgia couple found shot to death in their bed

WAYCROSS, Ga. — Officials have charged a Georgia man and his wife in the shooting deaths of his mother and her boyfriend.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation said Virginia Thomas, 73 and Charles Barnett, 75, were found dead from gunshot wounds at a home owned by Barnett in Ware County.

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On Wednesday, deputies arrested Bernard Rittenhouse, 55, charged him with two counts of felony murder and one count of burglary. The Ware County Sheriff’s Office said Thomas is Rittenhouse’s mother.

Deputies also arrested Rittenhouse’s wife, Janet Rittenhouse, 53, and charged her with two counts of felony murder and one count of party to the crime of burglary.


Channel 2′s sister station Action News Jax spoke with a neighbor and friend of Barnett and Thomas, who said the couple were very much in love.

“It’s baby here. Sugar there. Sweetie here. That’s the only way I’ve seen ‘em talk to each other,” Roger Nettles said.

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Nettles told Action News Jax that Janet Rittenhouse came to his home the morning of the couple’s death.

“I said ‘what’s wrong?’ She said Rit [Rittenhouse] went in there, and found his mom and Charles dead. She start crying, and I said, ‘Would you please repeat that because I’m not sure I heard you right,’” Nettles said. “She told me again, and I said ‘Good God Almighty I can’t believe that.’”

Action News Jax has received the booking photo for Bernard Rittenhouse and has requested Janet Rittenhouse’s booking photo.

The Ware County Sheriff’s Office said the investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact WCSO at (912) 287-4326 or the GBI Douglas Office at (912) 389-4103.

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