The murder of Terry Lee King by his two sons is the subject of tonight’s Redrum on Investigation Discovery (ID). Terry Lee King, aka Terry King, died in his home in Cantonment, Florida, where his sons killed him and set the home on fire to cover up the evidence. The two boys, Derek and Alex King, were just 13 and 12 at the time of the killing. They were tried as adults in an Escambia County courthouse, according to the Sun Sentinel.
The Terry King case caught the attention of the public in November, 2001, after police responded to a fire call in suburban Cantonment, near Pensacola. When officers arrived, they found the home of Terry King engulfed in flames. What appeared to be just a routine fire ended up being a homicide case after law enforcement officials found the body of a white male sitting in a chair with massive wounds to the head.
An autopsy report concluded that the victim, identified as Terry Lee King, was bludgeoned to death with a baseball bat while in his sleep. The man’s two boys were also missing from the residence.
A neighbor and family friend, named Ricky Chavis, eventually brought the boys to the police station, where they confessed to the murder of their father. Derek King and his brother, Alex King, told police investigators that they became angry with their father and decided to kill him as he slept. After the killing, they said they became frightened and ran to the home of Ricky Chavis, a known child molester.
People close to the case say that Ricky Chavis was a bad influence on the boys, often allowing them to smoke pot and engage in sex at his home. But Chavis had been a good friend to the boys’ father. Terry King was a single dad who struggled to make ends meet, but did the best he could with the boys by all accounts.
Experts on the case speculated that some sort of abuse could have taken place in the home, which is often the case in this kind of crime. However, many experts noted that prior abuse is not always the driving force behind why a child might kill a parent. Plus, there was never any indication that Terry King was an abusive parent. Chavis claimed that Terry King used to look at the boys in a mean way — with a mean stare, which he felt was emotional abuse.
Derek and Alex King implicated Ricky Chavis in the death of their father. Ricky Chavis was arrested and sentenced in the case. Today, he is still doing time in a Florida correctional facility. Alex King and Derek King are out of prison. After his release, Alex was interviewed on Larry King Live, where he stated that he rarely thinks about the crime today but is very sorry for what happened.
People Magazine also did a follow up on the case after the boys were released. Crime writer Gary C. King wrote the book Angels of Death, which is based on the case.
According to a recent update, Alex King was picked up for a parole violation in 2011. Derek King enrolled in college after his release. The case has been the subject of several crime documentaries, such as Evil Kin and American Justice.
Tune in for tonight’s episode, entitled “Families and Foes,” to see how Redrum chronicles this bizarre teen killers case at 8 p.m. central.
[Photo Credit: YouTube, Florida Department of Corrections]