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Wife charged in Statesboro preacher's murder

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Antoinette Riley (Source: Bulloch Co. Jail)Antoinette Riley (Source: Bulloch Co. Jail)

Further details surfaced Tuesday in the death of a pastor and the arrest of his wife on murder charges. Statesboro police charged Antoinette Riley with the shooting death of her husband, Pastor Michael Riley.

On Tuesday, police confirmed both the preacher and his wife had been arrested in a 2009 family violence case. Both were charged with simple battery. However, police said, the charges and the case were dropped before it went to court.

Mrs. Riley called 911 Sunday morning from their Greenbriar Trail home. Police arrived and found Pastor Riley dead. By Monday afternoon, detectives charged the wife with murder.

The murder stunned neighbors like Pat Duke, who's lived on that street for 35 years.

"It was pretty shocking to us to think that somebody had actually been killed in the neighborhood because this is a pretty quiet easy going place," she said.

Duke said she'd talked to the wife only briefly.

"We'd spoken on their doorstep a few times when I was helping collect money for a charity," she noted. "But she was always pleasant."

Across town New Birth non-denominational church lists M.A. Riley as the pastor and founder. The one-building complex has a small congregation of a few dozen members. Those gathered for worship Sunday morning were waiting on the Rileys when they got word of the pastor's death.

Antoinette Riley remains in the Bulloch County jail awaiting a bond hearing.

Copyright 2013 WTOC. All rights reserved.

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