Attorneys for Woodrow Karey, the man accused of fatally shooting a pastor, have filed a response to a civil suit by the pastor's widow. The response includes a vulgar text message Ronald Harris, the pastor,More >>
Attorneys for Woodrow Karey, the man accused of fatally shooting a pastor, have filed a response to a civil suit by the pastor's widow.More >>
Woodrow Karey Jr. will face a manslaughter charge instead of a second-degree murder charge in the shooting death of Pastor Ronald Harris Sr. A grand jury met Thursday in 14th Judicial District Court andMore >>
A grand jury met Thursday in 14th Judicial District Court and indicted him on the lesser charge. He had been booked on second-degree murder in the case.More >>
A church pastor was shot and killed during a church ceremony on Friday night in Calcasieu.According to Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Kim Myers, it happened around 8:20 p.m. at the Tabernacle of Praise WorshipMore >>
Authorities say Pastor Ronald J. Harris Sr. was shot during a Friday service. Woodrow Karey Jr., 53, of Lake Charles, is accused in the case. He was booked on second-degree murder and is being held on $1 million bond.More >>
Calcasieu Parish Sheriff Tony Mancuso said the wife of the man accused of shooting Pastor Ronald Harris Sr. filed a rape complaint against Harris on Wednesday, two days before he was gunned down at the TabernacleMore >>
Calcasieu Parish Sheriff Tony Mancuso said the wife of the man accused of shooting Pastor Ronald J. Harris Sr. filed a rape complaint against Harris on Wednesday, two days before he was gunned down at the Tabernacle of Praise church.More >>
Church members from Tabernacle of Praise continue to stay by the Harris family's side as they all remember their pastor. "He was an awesome preacher, teacher" said daughter Talisha Harris. "He had a bigMore >>
Talisha Harris was inside the church, along with more than 60 others, on Friday night when shots were fired inside the sanctuary. Harris said she saw a man fire three shots from a shotgun, striking her father, Ronald J. Harris Sr., twice. More >>
According to witnesses Reverend Ronald Harris was shot first from a distance and then at close range as members of his church looked on in horror.
Woodrow Karey was initially arrested and booked for second degree murder, but the grand jury decided to indict him on a lesser charge of manslaughter.
Harris's daughter Talisha Jacko says the family disagrees that manslaughter is the appropriate charge and wishes they would have been allowed to testify before the grand jury.
"Manslaughter would be like a crime of passion, but in our statements to the detectives we did state that he was laughing when he walked through. The first shot he was laughing and when he shot him at close range he was also laughing," said Jacko.
District Attorney John DeRosier won't discuss the facts of the case but says the grand jury saw the evidence.
"They heard all of the evidence and made their decision based on the evidence that they heard. I'm certainly not going to comment on the proceedings or anything that took place within the grand jury. They did their job and we cannot question that," said DeRosier.
Defense attorney Todd Clemons says manslaughter is the appropriate charge.
"Woodrow Karey may have killed a man but he's not a murderer. And I think the grand jury evidently, under the circumstances, heard evidence that would make them believe that it was a manslaughter evidently committed in the heat of passion. Now of course we maintain that Woodrow Karey is an innocent man," said Karey.
But Harris's family says the two men had a history.
"Days before threatening text messages that was sent to my father as well, so I think they needed to hear both sides," said Jacko.
Next defense attorneys will try to get Karey's million dollar bond reduced.
"Mr. Karey's not a flight risk. He's not a danger to any body else in this community. So, we don't feel it's appropriate for him to be in jail. Our position is he's being penalized as if he's been convicted of something and he hasn't been convicted of anything. So, I don't like the fact that my client is currently being deprived of his freedom," said Clemons.
Karey is being held in the Calcasieu Jail.
Normally a manslaughter conviction brings 0 to 40 years in prison, but DeRosier says because a firearm was used, if convicted, Karey faces a minimum of 20 years.
To hear more of our interviews with Pastor Harris's daughter and the attorneys look for our web extra at www.kplctv.com