Tenant who killed Paulding woman, tried to burn evidence gets life sentence

A man renting a room from a Paulding County woman was convicted of killing her and attempting to burn the evidence, authorities said.

Derek Jess Renfroe was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole Tuesday for the murder of Beth Bishop-Harris in 2017, the county’s district attorney said in a news release.

He was arrested the day after Bishop-Harris’ body was found by her husband inside their home in the 4000 block of Hiram Sudie Road, AJC.com previously reported. Renfroe was accused of trying to set the home on fire after the homicide in an attempt to burn the evidence, the sheriff’s office said.

RELATED: Police: Man killed Paulding woman, tried to set house on fire

Credit: Channel 2 Action News

Credit: Channel 2 Action News

Renfroe had been renting a room from the couple, and the three lived in a small home in deplorable conditions, deputies said.

When confronted by GBI agents and deputies, Renfroe confessed to murdering Bishop-Harris, the release said. The woman’s death was ruled a homicide at the time, but her cause of death was not released.

MORE: Woman found dead in Paulding County home

He was charged with malice murder, possession of a knife during the commission of a felony, first-degree arson and tampering with evidence. While in jail, he was also charged with two counts of unlawful acts of violence in a penal institution, aggravated assault and battery, the release said.

For those new charges, he was sentenced to an additional five years to serve in prison. If he’s granted parole, he will serve an additional 35 years on probation, Judge Tonny S. Beavers said.

Derek Renfroe Sentenced to Life in Prison for 2017 Murder On November 26, 2019, Paulding Chief Superior Court Judge...

Posted by Paulding District Attorney's Office on Tuesday, November 26, 2019

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