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

Last Modified: Tuesday, October 01, 2013 10:11 AM

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.

Posted By: Dee On: 10/12/2013

Title: Devastation

While we all realize Pastors are men there is a certain degree of integrity we all must have. It appears they were good friends at one time and there are reports they had relations In this man's house. Most men would flip their wig to know someone they considered a friend slept with their wife in their bed. Yeah the wife is just as guilty because if it were not rape she let him in; however, for a man to have to see text messages from their wife to their boy and know a sex act occurred is difficult to swallow - it's like a slap in the face with 100 MPH force. I hate a life was lost; however, I can also understand that type of crime of passion. Karey is a good man that simply snapped.

Posted By: BM On: 10/5/2013

Title: Dont play withGod.

Why the cheating. This is what it leads to. Its called UNFAITHFUL.

Posted By: dlbunt1 On: 10/5/2013

Title: Regret

I don't know if the allegations of an affair are a rumor or factual. What I do know is that you can't ask the pastor and the deacon can only give you what he had read on his wife's phone. Saying that, the last person whom can tell the truth regardless of how bad things are, has to live with all of this for the rest of her life. If she was having an affair, she will live with a lifelong pain of lying to her husband, deztroying his life and sending a pastor to his grave for selfish reasons. So I really hope this was an actual incident and not an attempt to try and cover herself to try and save her self from beingcaught.

Posted By: Tone On: 10/2/2013

Title: Black on Black crime

It only takes a second a day to analize life 1 time in a respectable mind; sorry for the loss, to both familys

Posted By: D-Mo On: 10/1/2013

Title: Reality

To Jake,
Never hold a pastor above everyday man. He too is just a man. I have faith in God not man.

Posted By: J Lewis On: 10/1/2013

Title: sad

I went to high school with this pastor. I cannot imagine the young man I knew growing into a rapist. He was a kind man raised by a Christian family. We were in band together all 4 years of high school, and of course, had classes together. I cannot wrap my brain around an affair much less a rape

Posted By: jake On: 10/1/2013

Title: Shocked

Wow, really, can't imagine any preacher or reverand would ever do anything bad, I mean they all go through such rigorous training and education, esepcially in churches, really hard to believe that a real certified minsiter from any inner city church would do anything wrong...NOT

Posted By: sue p. On: 10/1/2013

Title: not worth it.

What happened to a good ole clean fistfight? A good ass whipping and u get to go home not prison.

Posted By: Bobbie J On: 9/30/2013

Title: Nothing

Sometimes you just got to put your foot down.

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