Terry King was murdered on November 26, 2001. Terry Lee King, a resident of Cantonment, Florida, was murdered by his two children, Derek (then 13 years old) and Alex King (age 12). Derek, aided by Alex, murdered his father with an aluminum baseball bat on November 26, 2001. In order to hide their crime, the lads set fire to the family’s home in Cantonment, Florida (near Pensacola). Ricky Chavis, a family friend, was found guilty of being an accessory to the murder after he concealed the boys in his trailer home and washed the blood off their clothes after the murder. Alex King was also accused of molesting Chavis, although he was later acquitted. Terry King was 40 years old when he passed away.
According to Investigation Discovery’s ‘Evil Kin: Deadly Darlings,’ the lads said they killed each other to stop “mental abuse,” such as being “stared down” and spanked. However, they changed their stories numerous times, first saying that they killed their father on their own.
Then alleging that Chavis persuaded them to kill Terry, and lastly claiming that Chavis killed Terry King and got them to take the blame. Alex also admitted to having a sexual relationship with Chavis throughout his testimony. In a separate trial, Chavis was found not guilty of child molestation.
How Did Terry King Die?
Terry King grew up in Cantonment, Florida, a Pensacola suburb. Terry lived with his two sons, Derek, 13, and Alex, 12, on and off.
Terry had a hard time keeping a job and would work odd jobs for minimum wage or less. He was also known as a strict father who did his hardest to provide a good home for the troublesome youngsters.
Terry battled to provide for the boys, to feed them, and to keep a roof over their heads. Terry desired a better life for the boys because their mother was absent from their lives. Terry identified a faith-based orphanage where he could place the boys.
After the institution collapsed a year later, the boys were eventually placed with two different foster homes. As a result, the boys had to be separated. Derek and Alex had always had a tight bond, and they were hurt by the breakup.
Alex took it the hardest, and he was eventually able to return to Terry’s home. Because of Alex’s increasing paranoia, Terry limited his interaction with the outside world. Terry was said to keep Alex in his room and be overprotective of him.
Derek was having issues in his foster family as well. He was busted for stealing beer and playing with lighter fluid. Derek did this for either peer praise or attention, according to this episode. After Terry was able to lease a home, Derek returned to live with Terry and Alex. Terry’s worry intensified as the boys learned how to push their father’s buttons.
Rick Chavis, better known as Ricky, was a handyman who was 40 years old. Terry was someone he met at a local flea market, and they seemed to share a lot of interests. Ricky comes from a shattered household and spent time in foster care, according to reports. Terry initially trusted Ricky to keep an eye on the boys because the two became great friends.
Derek and Alex would spend their after-school hours at Ricky’s, where they could watch TV and play video games for the first time. Ricky would also give Terry money when he needed it. Terry, on the other hand, sensed a shift in the lads, particularly Alex. Alex got more reclusive and began addressing Terry by his first name. Terry eventually informed the lads that they were not permitted to spend time with Ricky.
Who Killed Terry King and How?
Terry returned home one day on November 16, 2001, to discover Derek and Alex had fled the house with a backpack, clothes, and many knives. Terry drove around the region, even calling the sheriff’s station, looking for the youngsters.
Derek and Alex had gone to Ricky’s residence, according to Terry, but Ricky denied it. Ricky did admit that Alex had called him to inform him that they would not be returning home.
Terry got a call from Derek’s foster family about a week later. They claimed they saw him in Pace, which is around 18 miles from their home. Derek’s former foster family phoned the cops, and he begged them not to send him back, but Terry arrived to collect him. He inquired as to where they had gone and where Alex was. Derek claimed that they had been in the woods for several days and that Alex was still missing.
Ricky called Terry on November 25, 2001, one day before the murder, to explain that Alex had called him from a payphone and that he had gone to pick him up. Alex and Derek were terrified that Terry would retaliate violently if they ran away, so they devised a strategy to prevent this.
A 911 call concerning a fire was received at about 1:30 a.m. on November 26, 2001. Before they got at the crime scene, the first responders had received information of a suspected death in the house.
There was a lot of smoke and fire when the first responders arrived. They broke the door open and discovered Terry King’s body right away. He was seated in his reclining chair, propped up on his feet. He had crusted blood on his face and on the walls, and his arms were crossed. Terry wasn’t killed by fire, according to the crime scene.
Derek and Alex were also absent. The neighbourhood was canvassed by first responders who inquired about the King family. However, not many people in the neighbourhood knew much about the Muscogee Road family.
Terry’s family advised the authorities to look into Ricky Chavis during the investigation. Everyone was perplexed as to why a 40-year-old man was so close to two small boys who were not his sons.
Investigative Procedures in Terry King Case
The cops first went to Ricky’s house to take a look around. Ricky’s house was odd; he had huge gates around his property, electrical cable strung across the top, and cameras installed throughout. Ricky’s actions also drew the attention of the cops. Ricky told them he needed to use the restroom and dashed to the back of the house as the cops tried to interview him.
Ricky had informed the authorities about Alex’s voicemail. He said they weren’t coming home in the voicemail. Ricky’s closeness with the boys had the police suspicious, but they didn’t have much proof to go on.
Ricky announced one day later that he had located the lads. However, the cops needed to speak with them as well as Ricky. These talks further added to the police’s confusion about what had transpired, and they continue to raise doubts in everyone’s minds to this day.
Alex and Derek Confessed Their Father’s Murder
When Derek was first questioned, he stated that he was frightened Terry would punish him and Alex for fleeing. Derek made the implication that Terry was abusive, despite the fact that this has never been substantiated.
Terry demanded to know where they were and who they were with, according to Derek. Terry grabbed Alex’s arm when Derek said Alex wouldn’t offer their father any answers. They waited for Terry to fall asleep on his chair, according to Derek.
He then took out an aluminium baseball bat and smacked Terry in the head with it. He claimed he heard a crack and continued to strike him. Terry was about to open his eyes, and he was terrified. Alex was present during the entire murder.
The boys then intended to dispose of the evidence. Instead, Derek ignited the bat on fire and placed it on Terry’s bed. They left the house, hitchhiked into the woods, and stayed there for two days, according to Derek. They called Ricky after two days, and he picked them up.
Alex was also questioned by the cops, and he basically said the same thing as Derek. According to Alex’s story, he told Derek to kill their father.
Derek and Alex King were charged as adults with their father’s murder.
The Point of View of Ricky
The officers were taken aback by what they had just heard, and they were convinced Ricky was concealing something.
Ricky’s criminal background was investigated, and it was determined that he was a paedophile. In 1984, while working as a security guard at a hotel, he was caught in bed with three fugitive youths. Ricky was charged, but he refused to plead guilty.
Derek and Alex both stated in their first interviews that Ricky was not involved in their father’s murder. Ricky, on the other hand, admitted that the lads had been in his residence the entire time after killing Terry. In his house, he had a separate chamber where the lads could hide. Ricky also admitted that he and Alex forged the voicemail message.
Ricky expressed his admiration for Alex and led Alex to assume that he was in love with him as well. Although the authorities were never able to show that the two had a sexual relationship, they felt Ricky had groomed Alex and possibly Derek.
Ricky was accused with tampering with evidence and being an accessory after the fact. After Alex admitted that Ricky assaulted him, Ricky was charged with lude and absurd acts against a kid. Alex and Derek also claimed that Ricky murdered Terry before telling them exactly what happened and accepting responsibility. The lads were promised that if they confessed, they would be released because they were minors.
The Convictions and Trials in Terry King Murder
Ricky’s trial began in August 2002. Because of how many times Derek and Alex changed their stories, the defence went after them. When Alex testified, he was asked if he loved Ricky. Yes, Alex said, and Ricky had abused him. Both boys testified in court that Ricky told them to confess because they would receive reduced terms if they did.
Ricky Chavis was declared not guilty of murder after a five-hour jury deliberation.
Derek and Alex were finally found guilty of murder, but the court dismissed the case on September 6, 2002, believing the boys had not received a fair trial. In mediation, the matter was settled, and the boys agreed to plead guilty to third-degree murder.
Derek King received an eight-year sentence and was freed in March 2009. Alex King was given a seven-year sentence and was freed in April of 2008.
Ricky Chavis was acquitted of child molestation after being found guilty of false imprisonment and as an accessory after the fact. However, he was given a 35-year sentence and is not expected to be released until April 2036.
Where is Alex and Derek King Today?
A former student told Kathryn Medico, a journalism professor, about the King brothers. For Medico, the matter was personal because her children attended the same school as the boys and were roughly the same age. Medico and her family started writing to the boys and calling them on the phone. They paid their first visit to Alex in prison in 2002.
Alex attempted to flee the institution in April 2005. Rather than adding time to his sentence, a judge ordered that he be returned to a juvenile detention camp to finish his sentence. For the attempt, Alex received a five-year probation sentence. Alex’s second opportunity served as a wake-up call, and he began to devote his time to studying for his GED.
On April 9, 2008, he was released from prison and moved in with the Medico family in Jacksonville, Florida. He couldn’t find secure work because he lacked experience and had a criminal record. He did, however, enrol in community college in 2009.
People from all over the country came out to support Derek and Alex. Many parents were outraged by the boys’ adult punishments. The case of the King brothers piqued the curiosity of Dan Dailey, a widowed retiree from Minneapolis, Minnesota. Dailey gave books to the boys and money to the siblings’ defence attorney.
Dailey also began writing Derek letters over the mail and finally paid him a visit in prison. Dailey then founded the Redemption Project, a programme aimed at assisting children who have murdered their parents in reintegrating into society following their sentence.
After being released from prison, the boys were placed in a shelter for children who had killed their parents.
Dailey purchased 80 acres of land in West Texas to create a sort of sanctuary he calls Estrella Vista. The estate’s objective is to provide a home for parricides after they are released from prison. Derek got released from prison in March 2009 and moved to Estrella Vista. Alex eventually met his brother at the remote Southwest ranch after being unable to find work in Jacksonville, FL.
The King brothers, who were around 19 and 20, had to re-acclimate to a new society. “I’d never heard of Facebook,” Derek said. Derek stated in a 2013 interview that he wanted a stable life and a family of his own. Alex expressed a desire to study microbiology.
Some people see Derek and his brother as lifelong criminals, saying, “Oh, this is all you’re going to be.” You’ve spent your entire life in prison. You’ll be back in six months.” However, the boys have worked hard to retain a positive attitude, and Alex says, “You can’t alter the past.” […] Regret will only devastate your future.”
Final Conclusions in Terry King Murder Case
Because people are still debating whether the Menendez brothers or the King brothers were molested by their parents, this situation reminds me of the Menendez brothers case. I believe the Menendez brothers were molested, but not the King brothers, which may be my personal perspective. Ricky Chavis, not Terry King, I believe, abused the King brothers. It’s a horrible case that has impacted a large number of people.
Terry appeared to me to be a rigorous but caring parent who wanted the best for his sons. He went to great lengths to ensure that the boys were raised in a secure environment. Nevertheless, Derek and Alex were, and possibly still are, disturbed.
They were groomed by someone who was trusted by their father and by them. Ricky Chavis should be imprisoned for the rest of his life, never to be released, and never to be able to harm a child again.