Son charged with father's slaying
72-year-old victim dies in apparent domestic dispute
Clif Knight, Hartselle Enquirer
A Hartselle man is charged in the shooting death of his father. The shooting marked Hartselle's first homicide in eight years.
Matthew Killingsworth, 45, of Hartselle was arrested May 10 and charged in the shooting death of his father at the home they shared at 1300 Crestline Drive.
The victim was identified as Edward Duane Killingsworth, 72. He was airlifted by helicopter to Decatur General Hospital where he was pronounced dead by an emergency room physician at 2:20 a.m.
Hartselle Police Chief Ron Puckett said police officers and medical personnel were dispatched the Killingsworth residence after "a gentleman called 911 and reported he had been shot and needed help."
The call was logged at 12:46 a.m.
Responding officers made contact with a white male, who was later identified as the son. He answered the door and allowed officer to come inside. He was then secured and indicated that his father was in the next room. The elder Killingsworth told officers he had been shot by his son, according to a prepared statement released by HPD the following day.
Puckett said the father had taken a shot to the chest from a handgun apparently as the result of a domestic dispute. His son was taken into custody but was not questioned immediately, allegedly because of his intoxicated and emotional condition. He was later questioned, charged and transported to the Morgan County jail where he is being held under a $50,000 bond.
An autopsy conducted later by the state forensics laboratory in Huntsville confirmed Killingsworth died from a single gunshot wound to the chest.
Puckett said police remained on the scene for about 10 hours collecting evidence.
Homicide is city's first in eight years
Leada Gore, Hartselle Enquirer
Last week's shooting incident involving a Hartselle father and son was the city's first homicide in eight years. The 1998 slaying also involved a family, with a father killing his teenage daughter and then taking his own life.
Tracey Michelle Sharp, 18, was killed Feb. 15, 1998, when she visited her father at his home at 1620 Marks Drive in Hartselle. Sharpe was found after her mother, Debbie Sharp, became concerned when she did not return home from a visit. Police went to the home and found Sharpe's body along with the body of her father, Donnie DeWayne Sharp, 49. Police said Donnie Sharpe shot his daughter and then turned the gun on himself.