Wife of accused shooter filed rape complaint against pastor days before shooting

By By Johnathan Manning / American Press

There are allegations that a Lake Charles pastor shot to death Friday during a revival service was having either a consensual

or non-consensual relationship with the wife of his alleged shooter, authorities said Monday morning.

The wife of Woodrow Karey Jr., 53,

filed a rape complaint against Ronald J. Harris, pastor of Tabernacle of

Praise Worship

Center on Deshotel Lane, two days before authorities say Karey

shot Harris with a shotgun Friday night during praise and worship,

Calcasieu Parish Sheriff Tony Mancuso said at a news conference.

About a week before the shooting, Karey found inappropriate text messages between his wife and Harris, Mancuso said.

Karey’s wife filed a rape complaint against Harris on Wednesday, Sept. 25, two days before he was shot to death, Mancuso said.

“Obviously, we did not have a chance to interview Pastor Harris, and we’ll never get an opportunity to do that,” Mancuso said.

“The allegations are that some type of a consensual sexual relationship or a non-consensual sexual relationship took place

between Mr. Karey’s wife and Pastor Harris.”

A rape kit was not compiled because Karey’s wife’s accusation was too late after the alleged incident, Mancuso said.

It was an “accusation with very little facts,” the sheriff said.

The text messages “corroborated to some degree” that the relationship between Harris and Karey’s wife was possibly the motive

for the killing, CPSO spokeswoman Kim Myers said in a news release.

Detectives are still working to obtain a search warrant to download the text messages and were interviewing witnesses of the

killing on Monday, he said.

“When you start hearing all the rumors,

of course you’ve got to follow up on them; we don’t know if they’re

rumor or factual,”

Mancuso said. “That’s why we’re looking into it the way we’re

looking into it, so we can substantiate that type of information.

But to say that we’ve locked in and said ‘we know that this is

exactly what happened and this is the motive,’ I don’t think

we’re quite there yet.”

The Sheriff’s Office has been receiving calls from national media, as well as a call from the FBI asking whether the killing

was racially or religiously motivated, Mancuso said.

Mancuso said from what detectives have learned, both Harris and Karey were well-respected members of the community and had

once been “great friends.”

“This is a tragic situation, I hate that we ever have to get thrown into these situations, but now it’s our job to ... weigh

through this and find out what the facts are,” Mancuso said. “All we can ask from the people is to come in, tell the truth

and let us investigate and get to the bottom of the true facts.”

Authorities and witnesses said Karey entered the church Friday night during a service and shot Harris with a shotgun, knocking

him down, then stood over him and shot him again.

Karey then called authorities and told them he had just shot Harris and where to find the shotgun, along with a .22 pistol,

CPSO officials said.

Karey was initially cooperative, but has invoked his right to remain silent, Mancuso said.

Karey is being held at Calcasieu Correctional Center on $1 million bond.