Police have a Butts County man in custody who they said was believed to have killed his wife and her 10-year-old daughter.

Investigators said Herman Jackson was arrested Sunday morning in Henry County after his pastor convinced him to turn himself in.

Pastor Eddy Wright of Crossray Baptist Church in Henry County told Channel 2 Action News he was in the middle of preaching Easter services Sunday when his phone went off. Wright said a worship leader also got a call when he didn’t answer his phone.

Wright said he and the worship leader were able to get a hold of Jackson soon after and met with him.

After talking with Jackson, Wright said they were able to convince him to turn himself in.

Wright said all of them went to the Henry County Jail where Jackson turned himself in. Butts County authorities were notified he had been caught and Jackson was transported to Butts County.

Jackson had been on the run for several hours.

Butts County Sheriff Gene Pope said Jackson fatally stabbed his wife, Penny Phillips, and her 10-year-old daughter in the neck Saturday. He believes Jackson meant to kill the other four children in the house as well.

Pope said the scene on Southern Shores Road was horrifying. “These two people were maliciously murdered,” Pope said.

Enlarge Image

Herman Lamar Jackson III

“He had taken some knives and placed them in position next to the doors,” Pope said.

Pope said one of the children woke up. He told investigators Jackson was smoking a cigarette and holding something in his hand.

“He said ‘What’s wrong?’ He said, ‘Nothing, never mind.’ Hands him a cigarette, said bye and leaves,” Pope said.

Channel 2’s Rebecca Lindstrom was with deputies when a neighbor called to report Jackson’s pickup truck had been abandoned at a Texaco gas station in Henry County. Surveillance video at the station shows the truck pulling up around 4 a.m.

Deputies said Jackson then took off on foot.

Jackson had been on the run until he turned himself in Sunday.

Pastor Wright told Channel 2 Action News he is pleased they were able to bring this incident to a conclusion without anyone being hurt.

Channel 2 Action News also talked to Sheriff Pope. He said he is very happy Jackson is in custody.

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