CLAYTON CARTER III
Liberal Anti-Trump Terrorist Shoots And Kills GOP Committeeman With Two Shots to the Head in Front of Wife in West Goshen Township
West Goshen homicide defendant had history of violence at home
SEE: http://www.dailylocal.com/article/DL/20170809/NEWS/170809788; republished below in full unedited for informational, educational, and research purposes:
WEST GOSHEN >> Clayton P. Carter III has a history of violence on Box Elder Drive, the normally quiet residential street within shouting distance of West Chester East High School.
The man who Chester County law enforcement authorities say shot and killed a neighbor as the culmination of a long running but largely unexplained dispute had previously been arrested and charged with assault and criminal trespass on the street — at the very house where he had been living until his arrest Tuesday.
Almost 20 years ago, according to court records, Carter rammed his Chevrolet pickup truck into the front door of a house on the street where his in-laws lived. He then shoved his father-in-law and demanded to know where his daughter was.
The criminal charges were ultimately resolved with a summary plea to counts of disorderly conduct and harassment, and Carter — who was then 23 years old and living in Uwchlan, where he was the manager of a trailer park — was placed on 360 days of probation, ordered to continue counseling and seek a mental health evaluation.
West Goshen police and Chester County prosecutors say that at 1 a.m. Tuesday in the 300 block of Box Elder Drive, Carter shot and killed his next-door neighbor, G. Brooks Jennings. The defendant and the victim had been involved in a long-running neighborhood dispute that culminated with the defendant shooting the victim once, then standing over the victim’s body and shooting him a second time in the head, according to a press release.
Carter, 51, was living with his wife and father-in-law at the Box Elder Drive address, according to his attorney, Terrence Marlowe of Downingtown, who represents him in the murder and had represented him in the earlier case. He is now being held in Chester County Prison without bail, pending a preliminary hearing. Marlowe has suggested that the shooting occurred in self-defense.
“It is a sad situation when neighbors can’t put their differences aside for the sake of a peaceful community,” commented West Goshen Police Chief Joseph Gleason. “Such a senseless circumstance which only results in tragedy for multiple families.” A spokesman for the department said that officers had been called to the neighborhood at least eight times this year to resolve disputes between the men.
In a criminal complaint filed on Jan. 11, 1998, then-Officer Richard M. Geiger reported that he was called to Box Elder Drive at 12:40 a.m. for a report of a subject driving a pickup truck on the front lawn and smashing into the front door. The driver, identified as Carter, continued to ram the house until the truck itself was inside.
Geiger said that when he arrived, the truck was through the front wall, and the front door and living room were “extensively damaged.” He and Officer Lewis Knerr met Carter coming out of the house, and said he told them, “I know what I did, arrest me.” When Geiger asked him if the pickup was his, Carter told him, “Yes. I came to get my daughter.”
The officers then interviewed William Magill, Carter’s father-in-law. Magill said that Carter had called him twice from a car phone, but that moments later he heard the truck striking the front of the house four to five times. Magill said he was standing at the top of the stairs when he saw Carter get out of the truck while it was inside the house, walk up the stairs and knock a golf club he was holding out of his hands. Carter shoved Magill two or three times and asked about his daughter. When Carter was taken to the West Chester Police Department to await arraignment before then-Magisterial District Judge J. Peter Winther, an officer asked if he was suicidal. “No,” he said. “I just want my daughter,” according to the criminal affidavit.
He was charged with aggravated assault, criminal trespass, recklessly endangering another person, and related counts. He pleaded guilty to the summary charges on July 6, 1998, after Marlowe and then-Assistant District Attorney Leslie Pike worked out an agreement.
The allegations in the homicide as laid out by police and the Chester County District Attorney’s Office are as follows:
At approximately 7:50 p.m. on Monday, police responded to another dispute between Carter and Jennings about cursing and a video recording in the back yard. The police resolved the dispute.
At approximately 1 a.m. on Tuesday the men got into another dispute, with Carter claiming that Jennings was shining a light into his eyes while he was outside. Coincidentally, Carter ended up pulling a car onto his own lawn and shining the high beams of the car at Jennings.
Carter had retrieved a .380 caliber semi-automatic Ruger handgun from his residence, and confronted Jennings again outside. He then shot Jennings once in the head while he was standing, which knocked Jennings to the ground. Authorities say Carter then stood over the victim and shot him a second time in the head. Jennings, according to the news release issued, was on his own property.
In a recorded and Mirandized statement, Carter admitted the details of the ongoing disputes and shooting the victim, but said Jennings threatened him with a knife. The official statement noted that Carter had no injuries, and did not call the police and did not render aid to the victim.
Multiple witnesses heard the gunshots and reported a timing gap between the first and second shot. Jennings’ wife heard the first shot and — looking out a window — saw her husband lying motionless on the ground, and Carter standing over him and shooting him in the head.
Marlowe said Tuesday that Carter and his wife had moved to the Box Elder house some years ago to care for his mother-in-law, Phyllis Magill, a clerk at the Brandywine River Museum gift shop who died in 2013. They had since been caring for William Magill, he said.
Anybody with any further information is urged to contact West Goshen Detective Dave Maurer at 610-696-7400 or Chester County Detective John O’Donnell at 610-344-6866.
To contact staff writer Michael P. Rellahan call 610-696-1544.