Trial reveals two conflicting stories of pastor killing in 2013

Trial reveals two conflicting stories of pastor killing in 2013
Woodrow Karey and Pastor Ronald Harris (Source: KPLC)

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Jurors heard from sobbing eyewitnesses, saw graphic photos and opposing views of what led to the shooting of a pastor during a church revival in 2013.

Was it a love affair between Pastor Ronald Harris and Woodrow Karey's wife?  Or was it a case of rape that led Karey to allegedly kill the pastor? Wednesday the jury heard both arguments.

In opening statements, prosecutors told jurors Janet Karey was unfaithful to her husband, but that does not justify him killing Harris.

Yet the defense read a vulgar text sent from Harris to the Kareys that included the statement, "You and your family will suffer."

The defense said the text was meant for Janet but instead went to Woodrow Karey by mistake.

Defense attorney Todd Clemons told jurors Janet Karey and Ronald Harris were NOT having an affair... and Janet reported to the sheriff's office that Harris raped her.

Clemons says evidence will show - when Harris was not arrested in the days following the reported rape, Woodrow Karey felt the need to defend himself and his wife.

The jury heard testimony from numerous witnesses who were at the church the night Harris was shot to death.  They described the chaos and trauma. Most witnesses cried on the stand, some burying their face in their hands as they recounted the September 2013 shooting.

Jurors also saw the 12 gauge shotgun Karey used and photos of Harris after he'd been killed, which caused some to gasp.

If Karey is convicted of manslaughter he is to receive a minimum sentence of 20 years.

For more details from today's opening statements and testimony check out Theresa Schmidt's Twitter feed.

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