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Teen: Derek King Threatened to Kill Dad

March 4, 2003

PENSACOLA, Fla. (AP) _ One of two teenage boys who killed their father with a baseball bat had threatened to do the deed several days before, a schoolmate testified Monday to open the trial of a family friend charged with aiding the brothers.

Ricky Chavis is accused of evidence tampering and accessory after the fact to the murder of Terry King, 40.

King’s sons, Alex and Derek King, were 12 and 13 when they beat him with an aluminum baseball bat Nov. 26, 2001, at their home in nearby Cantonment.

Prosecutors have said that 10 days before the killing, the brothers had run away from home and stayed with Chavis, 41.

The state called witness Jason Gaylard, 13, to show the killing was a premeditated first-degree murder, though the King boys have already pleaded guilty and been sentenced for third-degree murder.

Gaylard testified that Derek King said while getting off the bus one day that ``they were going to be gone for a while and we were going to hear about them because they were going to kill their dad and then they were going to come back and kill us.″

Chavis is accused of taking the King boys to his Pensacola home after the murder, washing their clothes and hiding them from police. He could face a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison if convicted.

A six-member jury had been seated early Monday evening. Lawyers would normally make opening statements first, but Gaylard was allowed to testify out of order so he would not a test Tuesday.

Prosecutor David Rimmer waived his opening statement, so the trial is expected to resume Tuesday with defense lawyer Michael Rollo’s opening.

The boys and Chavis were tried separately for first-degree murder. One jury acquitted Chavis while another convicted the brothers of second-degree murder.

A judge threw out the boys’ convictions and ordered mediation that resulted in both pleading guilty to third-degree murder. Alex is serving seven years and Derek eight at separate juvenile facilities.

Chavis was convicted last month of falsely imprisoning Alex, now 13, and sentenced to five years in prison.

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