By John L. Ross / Staff Writer
That’s what Charlene Sue King, 49, of Barbourville, repeated seven times to a Knox County 911 dispatcher Tuesday after she admitted shooting a Barbourville man to death.
The recorded 911 call was obtained by the Times-Tribune through an open records request.
Earl Carter, 75, of Barbourville, was found in his 936 J. Goodin Branch Road home with multiple gunshot wounds early Tuesday, according to Kentucky State Trooper Shane Jacobs.
Jacobs said King was a live-in caretaker to Carter. “According to his stepson, she’d been living with him for several months,” Jacobs said.
He said Carter was having health issues. “We’re not sure how (Carter) knew (King) or how he contacted her (for caretaking services),” he said. “But people said there were times he couldn’t get around and that he had bad arthritis.”
The nine-minute call from King came in to dispatchers at 12:26 a.m. “There’s been an incident,” she said.
She then told dispatchers the address. When questioned as to the nature of the incident, King said “he (Carter) was bothering me, and I shot him.”
“Is he alive?” asked the dispatcher.
“I don’t know,” she responded. “I didn’t go look.”
She told the dispatcher Carter was located in the sunroom of the home. “You shot Earl Carter?” asked the dispatcher.
“Yeah,” said King.
When asked why she shot Carter, King said “he was trying to follow me.”
“He was trying to rape you?” asked the dispatcher.
“He was trying to take advantage of me,” she said.
She then told dispatchers she would have to return to the Carter residence to allow responding officers to enter. “I don’t want to,” she said. “I know I have to but I don’t want to.”
Dispatch explained to her officers would be on scene in three to four minutes. “I’m scared,” King said.
“Have you checked on him or anything?” dispatch said.
King said no. “When I shot him, he said, ‘You killed me.’”
King also told dispatch she used a 9 mm handgun. When asked, she said the gun was “on the table.”
She requested dispatch remain on the line with her until officers arrived. “I’m not going outside by myself,” she said.
During her call to 911 she returned to the home to check on Carter. “I see him,” she said. “There’s a lot of blood.
“His mouth is open and his head is back,” she continued. “I don’t see his chest moving.
“I didn’t mean to hurt him.”
Knox County Sheriff’s deputies responded, and Jacobs said while en route to Carter’s residence the KSP was contacted for assistance. Both deputies and troopers arrived on the scene at the same time. Trooper Mark Mefford heads this ongoing investigation.
Jacobs said an autopsy was performed today to determine if other injuries are present. “It’s a sad situation when you have an elderly individual who needs help and things like this happen,” Jacobs said. “You never think a caregiver would do anything like this.”