CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A West Side man's desire to beat one of his gay roommates to death and the other into an unconscious stupor may have been fueled by a perception that the men were making passes at his wife, prosecutors said Monday.
Kenneth Eugene Carter, 51, is on trial this week on charges of first-degree murder for allegedly attacking Ronald Forton as he slept and bludgeoning him to death with a baseball bat the men kept in their Buehring Street apartment.
Minutes before he delivered the fatal blows, Carter ambushed Forton's live-in partner, Brady Dunlap, and left him in a bloody heap on a couch in the living room, prosecutors said.
Dunlap survived severe injuries. Police found Forton, 51, dead more than 24 hours later.
Kanawha County assistant prosecutor Charles Miller told jurors that Carter lived with Forton and Dunlap off and on, but became increasingly suspicious that his gay friends were making advances on his wife, Kelly Tran.
On July 19, after a night of heavy drinking, Dunlap reached for the remote control for his TV, Miller said. He pushed the power button, and noticed Carter's reflection in the blank screen.
"Where are you going with that bat, Kenny?" Dunlap asked, according to Miller.
Carter struck Dunlap several times, fracturing the man's kneecap and clavicle, and at one point delivered a blow to the head that rendered him unconscious until the next morning, Miller said.
Carter then walked into Forton's bedroom and beat the man to death as he lay in his bed, Miller said. He returned to Dunlap and fell asleep on the couch next to him.
Dunlap and Carter woke at around 10 a.m. the next morning. Dunlap, covered in blood and scared for his life, dialed 911. He told paramedics that he had fallen down the porch stairs, Miller said.