Benton Co. man charged following girlfriend’s suicide

BIG SANDY, Tenn. — A joint investigation by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and the Benton County Sheriff’s Office has resulted in the indictment of a Benton County man following his girlfriend’s suicide, according to a news release.

Beck Suicide Benton

The release states on November 26, 2019, agents with the TBI joined the Benton County Sheriff’s Office in investigating the death of Melanie Herndon, who was found dead in her home on Point Mason Road in Big Sandy.

Authorities were first alerted to her death by a phone call from her boyfriend’s father, who lives in Los Angeles, California.

According to the release, 45-year-old Jimmy Beck Jr. told his father that Herndon had committed suicide that morning. He then flew to California and relayed the message to him in person.

Beck’s father then called the Benton County Sheriff’s Office, the release states.

According to the release, Beck did not contact authorities to report the incident or to provide an account of what he witnessed.

An autopsy determined Herndon died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

On October 19, 2020, the release states that Beck was charged with one count of failure to report a death under suspicious, unusual or unnatural circumstances and one count of tampering with or fabricating evidence.

According to the release, Beck returned to Benton County from California and was booked into the Benton County Jail on a $5,000 bond.

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