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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 9/5/2002 1:51:13 PM EDT
Been following this on Court Tv, too. Watching and hearing this is just sickening. Alex King Thursday, September 05, 2002 PENSACOLA, Fla. — Lawyers began their closing arguments Thursday in the case of two juvenile brothers charged with beating their father to death with an aluminum baseball bat. The older boy, Derek King, 14, took the witness stand Thursday only to tell Circuit Judge Frank Bell he would not testify in his own defense. "Yes sir, it was my decision," Derek said in a clear, strong voice. His soft-spoken brother, Alex King, 13, testified Wednesday. He recanted confessions the boys gave police a day after murder of Terry King, 40, and said Ricky Chavis, a family friend and convicted child molester, was the real killer. The brothers were 12 and 13 on Nov. 26 when firefighters found their 40-year-old father's body on a recliner inside their burning home in nearby Cantonment. Alex said he loved Chavis emotionally and sexually. He testified the brothers took the blame because they wanted to live with Chavis and he had told them they would get off by claiming self-defense because they were juveniles. Both boys had testified last week for the prosecution when Chavis, 40, was tried on the same charges as the brothers, first-degree murder and arson, under a completely different theory of the crime — that he wielded the bat. The verdict in Chavis' case is sealed until the King boys' trial is completed. All three are facing a mandatory penalty of life in prison without parole if convicted of first-degree murder. Derek's lawyers offered only four witnesses, including the boys' maternal grandmother, Linda Walker, and their father's brother, Greg King. Walker supported the brothers' argument Chavis was the killer by saying he had accused Terry King of mistreating his sons and told her he would do something and no one would know he was responsible. Greg King said he discovered in a visit to the burned-out home that the recliner his brother died in had not been taken into evidence. Escambia County sheriff's investigator Glenn Gowitzke testified that he found no evidence of a baseball bat in the fire, casting doubt on the boys' confessions because they had claimed to put the bat on a bed and set it on fire. Gowitzke said a glob of melted aluminum he found was a cheap quality consistent with window frames rather than a bat. He also testified to finding child pornography on Chavis' computer. Robin Barvorines, a guard at the county jail where all three defendants are being held, testified she caught Chavis scratching a message on the floor of a recreation yard saying "Alex don't trust," but she stopped him before he could write anything more.
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