Last Modified: Thursday, December 19, 2013 8:13 PM
Attorneys for a man accused of shooting a pastor in church have responded to a lawsuit filed by the pastor’s family.
Ron Richard, attorney for Frances Harris, filed a wrongful death suit on behalf of the family in early November. Harris is the wife of Ronald Harris Sr., the pastor of Tabernacle of Praise Worship Center.
Todd Clemons and Adam Johnson, attorneys for Woodrow Karey, 54, who is charged with manslaughter, filed a response Thursday.
Karey is accused of walking into Tabernacle of Praise during a revival service on Sept. 27 and shooting Harris, 51, twice with a shotgun. Karey reportedly immediately turned himself in to authorities, telling deputies that Harris raped his wife.
The lawsuit says Harris’ family suffered mental anguish, physical pain and suffering, medical expenses and loss of enjoyment of life.
Karey’s response said Harris’ alleged actions were “the cause in fact of the damages sustained.” The response also detailed a text message reportedly sent by Harris, meant for Karey’s wife.
The family’s lawsuit says the killing was “grisly, gruesome and outrageous.”
“Woodrow first shot at (Harris) from a distance prior to stalking the wounded, retreating (Harris) until both reached the front of the tabernacle, in front of the entire congregation and family of (Harris),” the lawsuit reads.
The final shot was in front of Frances Harris, as well Ronald Harris’ mother and his grandchildren, the lawsuit says. The pastor suffered “great pain, suffering, and/or bodily injury prior to his death,” it says.
The damage “was in no way” caused by either of the Harrises, but was “caused by the intentional acts of Woodrow,” the lawsuit says.
Among the six defenses listed in the response, Karey’s attorneys claim that Harris’ actions with Karey’s wife “constitute the cause in fact of the damages sustained.”
“(Karey) should be relieved of any liability for any damages which have or may result,” the response says. “At the very least, (Harris’) fault should serve to reduce the amount of damages assessed (Karey).”
Should the court award Frances Harris damages, Karey’s attorneys requested that damages be “offset and/or reduced proportionately by the monies previously donated to the (Harrises).”
The response includes a text message reportedly sent by Harris, which the response claims was meant for Karey’s wife, but was inadvertently sent to Karey on Sept. 21.
The derogatory 165-word text message called Karey’s wife “just a piece of meat” and included six swear words, according to the text in the response. The message accused the Kareys of trying to persuade other people to leave the church.
The response claims that Karey was subsequently told his wife had been raped at gunpoint by Harris. Harris then attempted to blackmail her by forcing her to take naked photographs, the response says.
The response also details the relationship between Karey and Harris, saying Harris was once Karey’s “pastor and closest friend.”
Karey gave Harris financial help several times, the response claims — co-signing for vehicles, cellphones and home furniture; giving Harris $1,500 for a trip to Hawaii; and giving him $5,000 to help the church meet its monthly mortgage payment.
When Karey could not afford to support Harris financially, he left the church in 2011 with no “ill will,” although he continued to make payments on things for which he had co-signed, the response says.
Posted By: Minister of the Gospel On: 2/11/2014
Title: Wake up Harris family
The so called Pastor Harris, dug his own grave, he slept with another man' wife while hiding behind the bible, he betrade Mr. Karey as well as used him for a money bag. Harris was a snake and a fraud that got exposed. His constant sins caused him to believe that he was untouchable and he obviously had no fear of God. So the dog (Harris) wife and daugther needs to quit tripping, get a job and show compassion for the real victim who is Mr. Karey. Maybe if the wife and daugther didn't cover up Harris sins and make excuses for him being low down, he may still be living. The first thing Harris should learn while reading the bible is "quote" the wages of sin in death. Harris obviously forgot that the Lord sits high but looks low. It's really sad he was allowed to sheperd people while living a lie. The family claimed that Mr. Karey caused them mental anguish, no, Ronald Harris caused you'll mental anguish when decided to sleep with any woman that would give him a second look. The Harris family claimed that Harris death was outrageous and Mr. Karey damaged thier enjoyment of life. Not so, Mr. Karey allowed you crooks the enjoyment of life, by co-signing on various cars, furniture etc, giving you'll money to go on vocation while he's working hard to contuinue paying the debts Ronald refused to pay. The Harris family is making themseleves look real dump, by trying to portrait Ronld Harris as a decent man, Get a grip
Posted By: Lavanbra On: 12/26/2013
This has got to be a joke. Reward them for what ? Seriously; please !
Mr Karey is still clearly the victim here.
Posted By: Ex-member On: 12/23/2013