2012-05-31 / Front Page


Murdered man’s wife takes own life prior to scheduled lie detector test
Kip Burke, news editor

DENTDENTThe murder of a local physician’s assistant has taken another violent turn, authorities say, as the deceased man’s wife reportedly committed suicide Thursday afternoon as she faced a lie-detector test.

Agents of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and Wilkes County Sheriff’s Office investigators were continuing to gather evidence in Wilkes County’s first murder in several years, and had interviewed both Brenda Dent and a male friend about the murder of F.C. “Butch” Dent, 63, whose body was discovered Sunday night, May 27, at their home on Bellewood Drive.

Brenda Dent had been scheduled to take a polygraph test at the GBI office in Columbus on Thursday, May 31, along with a male friend, Sheriff Mark Moore said. “it appears that now Brenda is dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound that occurred in a vehicle in a commercial parking lot across from the GBI in Columbus.”

The investigators were still looking for more conclusive evidence as to exactly what happened, both in Butch Dent’s murder and in Brenda Dent’s death Thursday. “We expect to have a full statement by Friday morning with all the details,” Sheriff Moore said.

Information is still needed in the case, he said, despite the dramatic turn of events. “Anyone who can provide information on this homicide is urged to call the sheriff’s office at 706-678-5515.”

After Dent’s death Sunday night, Wilkes County Coroner Jane Echols had the body removed for an autopsy, which showed it was murder, Moore said. “Autopsy results verified that Dent was murdered, and a firearm was used in the homicide.”

According to obituary information, Dent was a native of Thomson and lived in Washington for many years. A 1967 graduate of Thomson High School, Dent served in the U.S. Navy during Vietnam and later became a physician assistant serving under Charles Wills Jr. M.D. at Wills Memorial Hospital. For the last 23 years, Dent was a surgical physician assistant with Athens Orthopedic Clinic.

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