- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 5, 2002

PENSACOLA, Fla. (AP) One of two brothers charged with bludgeoning their father to death told police the first blow of a baseball bat on the man's head sounded "like wood cracking or hitting concrete," according to a tape of the confession played in court yesterday.
Alex King said the Nov. 26 slaying of 40-year-old Terry King was his idea and that his brother, Derek, carried it out. At the time, Alex was 12 and Derek was 13.
In Derek's recorded statement, also played yesterday, he admitted waiting until his father was asleep in the recliner at their home before hitting him about 10 times with the bat.
The brothers have since repudiated the confessions and said a family friend, Ricky Chavis, was the killer.
The boys' trial began Tuesday with defense lawyers blaming Mr. Chavis for the killing, saying the man persuaded the boys to take the blame. They also said prosecutors lack physical evidence linking the boys to their father's death.
Mr. Chavis, 40, was tried last week for the same crime before a different jury. The verdict will remain sealed until the boys' trial is complete. The brothers, now 13 and 14, are being tried as adults.
Before the tapes were played yesterday, Escambia County sheriff's investigator John Sanderson testified that Derek initially claimed he struck his father during a struggle.
"I told him that based on the crime scene the crime scene tells the story we know what his father was doing, where his father was at," Mr. Sanderson testified. "At that time, he changed his story."
Mr. Sanderson said Alex changed his story to say they waited until their father was asleep after being told the first version conflicted with the crime scene.
Alex said in his statement that he suggested killing their father because he and his brother were afraid of being spanked for running away from home.
The first blow of the aluminum bat "sounds about like wood cracking or hitting concrete or something," Alex said.
All three defendants face life in prison without parole if convicted of first-degree murder. Each also is charged with arson. Firefighters found the victim's body inside his burning home in Cantonment.
Mr. Chavis also faces trial on a single count of committing a lewd and lascivious act against the younger brother.

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